City will learn who awaits in Round 3 of the Checkatrade Trophy on Saturday....

The Blues started as one of 16 Under-21 teams competing in the 2018/19 instalment of the competition, with EDS boss Paul Harsley overseeing the squad.

Here’s everything you need to know about the competition…

After beating Barnsley on penalties in the last round, the Blues will discover their opponents in the next round draw this weekend.

When is the Round 3 draw?

You can watch the draw for the next round on Saturday 8 December at approximately 12:20 pm - live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday programme.

The Round 3 draw will be regionalised between the Northern and Southern section. 

Ball numbers for our draw are as followed...

1 - Accrington Stanley

2 - Bury

3 - Manchester City U21

4 - Newcastle United U21

5 - Port Vale

6 - Shrewsbury Town

7 - Sunderland

8 - Rochdale / Oldham Athletic (TBC on Tuesday 11 December)

Who is left in the competition?

Along with City, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Port Vale, Bury, Cheltenham, Northampton Town, Accrington Stanley, Peterborough, Newcastle Under-21s and Chelsea Under-21s are all through -there are five more ties on Wednesday evening that will determine the remaining teams through to the last 16.

When will the next round be played?

The matches will be played week commencing 7 January, 2019.

Brief history

The English Football League Trophy, to give it its official title, was first introduced for the 1983/84 season.

City have played in the competition once, during the 1998/1999 campaign when it was known as the Auto Windscreens Shield.

READ: Paul Harsley post Liverpool match reaction

WATCH: West Ham U23s v Man City EDS match highlights 19 Aug

Joe Royle’s Blues went down 2-1 at home against Mansfield Town, with Danny Allsopp on the score-sheet.

Competition revamp

Until the 2016/17 season, only League 1 and League 2 sides had been eligible to compete, but now 16 clubs from the Premier League and Championship that hold Category One academy status are invited to enter an Under-21 side.

Clubs were initially invited based on their 2016/17 league performance and should they not accept, subsequent teams were then offered a place.

The introduction of academy teams also saw a change in the competition format, which had previously been a knockout tournament throughout, but now features an initial group stage.

Last season City went out in the group stages, having beaten Rotherham 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw but then losing 2-1 at Bradford before being edged out 4-3 on penalties at Chesterfield after a 2-2 draw in normal time.

Lincoln City were the eventual winners of the Trophy.

Which other Under-21 teams were involved?

Eleven other Premier League clubs have entered a squad in the competition, with four teams from the Championship completing the list of Category One academy teams.

Premier League: Arsenal, Brighton, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton, Spurs, West Ham, Wolves

Championship: Middlesbrough, Stoke, Swansea, West Brom

Player eligibility

Manager Harsley must name six players in his starting XI who are under the age of 21 as of 30 June 2018.

Teams may only include two players on the team sheet, aged over 21, who have made forty or more senior appearances, as at 30 June 2018.


The first round of the competition is a group stage, with the 64 participating clubs divided into 16 groups of four.

Groups will be regionalised – which remains up until the quarter-final stage – and one invited under-21 team will be included in each group, with the top two qualifying for the knockout stages.

Teams will play each other once in the group stage and in the knockout rounds fixtures will be decided by penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes, up until in the semi-final.

In the final, extra-time will precede a penalty shoot-out.

Group info

The Blues were  drawn in Group D of the Northern Section alongside Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers and progressed to Round 2 where they beat Barnsley on penalties after a 3-3 draw.