The Papa John’s Trophy is back for the 2022/23 season – keep track of the teams taking part and all the fixtures and results.
The competition formerly known as the EFL Trophy was won by Rotherham in 2021/22 and is back for the 2022/23 season, featuring clubs from League One and League Two, as well as 16 invited U21 teams from Premier League and Championship clubs with Category One academy status.
A total of 64 teams will compete again this time, bidding to reach the Wembley final on Sunday March 19, 2023.
Who is taking part?
As well as 48 sides from Leagues One and Two, the following teams have been invited to take part in 2021/22:
- Arsenal U21
- Aston Villa U21
- Brighton U21
- Chelsea U21
- Crystal Palace U21
- Everton U21
- Leeds United U21
- Leicester U21
- Liverpool U21
- Man City U21
- Man Utd U21
- Newcastle U21
- Southampton U21
- Tottenham U21
- West Ham U21
- Wolves U21
EFL clubs must have at least four ‘qualifying’ outfield players in their line-ups, with players needing to meet these requirements:
- Any player who started the previous or following first-team fixture
- Any player who is in the top 10 players at the club who have made the most starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions that season
- Any player with 40 or more first-team appearances in their career
- Any player on loan from a Premier League club or any EFL ‘Category One’ academy club
- A club can play any eligible goalkeeper in the competition
What’s the format?
The invited U21 teams have been placed into respective Northern and Southern section groups, with one U21 side in each group.
There are 16 groups of four teams, with each side playing each other once in the regionalised group stage. Invited clubs will be the ‘away’ side in each match in the group stage.
Three points are awarded for a win but if games end in a draw after 90 minutes, each club is awarded one point but a penalty shootout follows, with the winning team earning an additional point.
The eight winners and eight runners-up from each group will progress to the knockout stage. The round of 32 ties will be determined by a draw, with the winner of a group drawn at home against a runner-up of a group from the same region but not the same original group.
A round of 16 will take place via an unseeded draw but still on a regionalised basis.
From the quarter-finals onwards, there will be no regionalisation, meaning clubs from the Northern section can face those from the Southern section in the last eight and beyond.
The group games will take place at the end of August, the end of September and the middle of October. The first knockout round is on November 30th, the third round is on December 14, the quarter-final is on January 11 and the semi-final is on February 1. The final is set to take place at Wembley on Sunday March 19, 2023.
Northern Group A: Harrogate, Hartlepool, Morecambe, Everton U21
Northern Group B: Bolton, Crewe Alexandra, Tranmere, Leeds U21
Northern Group C: Port Vale, Shrewsbury, Stockport, Wolves U21
Northern Group D: Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, Salford, Liverpool U21
Northern Group E: Barnsley, Doncaster, Lincoln, Newcastle U21
Northern Group F: Derby, Grimsby, Mansfield, Man City U21
Northern Group G: Barrow, Carlisle, Fleetwood Town, Manchester United U21
Northern Group H: Bradford, Burton Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester U21
Southern Group A: Brighton, Charlton, Colchester United, Gillingham
Southern Group B: AFC Wimbledon, Crawley, Portsmouth, Aston Villa U21
Southern Group C: Cheltenham, MK Dons, Walsall, West Ham U21
Southern Group D: Peterborough, Stevenage, Wycombe, Tottenham U21
Southern Group E: Bristol Rovers, Crystal Palace U21, Plymouth, Swindon
Southern Group F: Exeter City, Forest Green Rovers, Newport County, Southampton U21
Southern Group G: Oxford United, Leyton Orient, Sutton, Chelsea U21
Southern Group H: Cambridge, Ipswich, Northampton Town, Arsenal U21
Group stage fixtures
Keep track of the latest Papa John’s group stage fixtures here.
Group stage results
Keep track of the latest Papa John’s group stage results here.