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City EDS enter new Premier League international Cup

Patrick Vieira’s Elite Development Squad will take on the cream of the continent in a brand new competition launched by the Premier League.

Eight English teams and eight European sides are involved in this new venture which features a four-group tournament involving some of the top Premier League U21 and elite development teams from England and other European leagues.

City have been drawn in Group C of the competition alongside Benfica, Schalke and Leicester City.

Premier League Director of Youth, Ged Roddy, said: “When we launched the Elite Player Performance Plan in 2012 we recognised that providing competitive opportunities for the 18-21 age group – against English and international opposition – was a key objective in order to prepare Academy players for Barclays Premier League football.

“Since then we are two seasons into a Barclays U21 Premier League that now sees each club play at least three matches at their main stadium, crowds in the thousands watching matches – including more than 10,000 at Norwich v Spurs - and several games broadcast live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.

“The Premier League International Cup will see some of the best young players in this country able to test themselves in competitive matches against some of most talented young players in Europe.”

In addition to City, English clubs involved in the tournament are: Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Leicester City, Norwich City and West Ham.

All eight of these clubs have Category One Youth Academies.

The international clubs taking part are: Athletic Club Bilbao, Benfica, Borussia Monchengladbach, Celtic, Schalke, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, and Villarreal.

Group stage matches will be played between 15 October 2014 and 31 January 2015 with a full fixture programme due to be published. All matches will be organised by the Premier League.

Clubs will play each team in their group once and all matches, including those between international teams, will be played in England.

Upon completion of the group stages the winners and runners-up from each group will progress to the quarter-finals and semi-finals and final, all to be played as single-leg ties in England.

The full fixture list for the new tournament is still to be confirmed but we’ll bring you news when we have it here on mcfc.co.uk.

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