Manchester City will be part of Friday’s draw for the first-round Northern group stages of the 2019/20 English Football League Trophy.
City’s Under-21s are again one of eight invited northern Category One academy sides who have entered the competition alongside League One and League Two opposition.
Last term, Paul Harsley’s side progressed through to the quarter-final stages where they were edged out by eventual finalists Sunderland.
Alongside City, the other invited Category One Northern Academies who will be in Friday’s draw this season also include Liverpool and Manchester United.
The eight drawn groups in the Northern Section are as follows:
Grimsby Town; Scunthorpe United; Sunderland; Invited Club
Accrington Stanley; Oldham Athletic; Fleetwood Town; Invited Club
Bury; Salford City; Tranmere Rovers; Invited Club
Port Vale; Shrewsbury; Macclesfield Town; Invited Club
Crewe Alexandra; Burton Albion; Mansfield Town; Invited Club
Bolton Wanderers; Bradford City; Rochdale; Invited Club
Blackpool; Carlisle United; Morecambe; Invited Club
Doncaster Rovers; Rotherham United; Lincoln City; Invited Club
Category One Acadamies
The eight Invited Northern Category One Academies (with draw numbers) are:
1: Aston Villa
5: Manchester City
6: Manchester United
7: Newcastle United
8: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Manager Paul Harsley must name six players in his starting XI who are under the age of 21 as of 30 June 2019.
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 2019.
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.
Academy sides will play each of the other three sides in their group away from home, with the top two teams qualifying for the knockout stages, which remain regionalised until the quarter-finals.
The final of the competition is played at Wembley Stadium, and is due to be held on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
Friday's draw will take place at approximately 12.30pm and will be broadcast on TalkSport radio.