Reading’s Under-18s will face each of Liverpool, Stoke City and Southampton in the group stages of this season’s U18 Premier League Cup,
Likewise, the Under-16 age group will also play the same group fixtures – the U16 tournament begins by mirroring the U18’s draw.
The format sees each team play their fellow group members once each, either home or away.
A total of 24 teams are involved this year – only eight progress to the knock-out stages. That will be the six group-winners, as well as the two best-placed runners-up, each of which will contest the quarter-final ties as they hunt down the silverware!
Our boys will be facing opponents of stature. Southampton’s academy is famed for its hit-rate of success, while England’s World Cup duo Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold both came through Liverpool’s ranks.
And Stoke continue to impress – last year they finished fourth in the Northern Section of the U18 Premier League, only trailing Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
The dates of and venues of each fixture are still to be confirmed, and will be announced in due course.
The draw in full is as follows…
Group A: Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur
Group B: Liverpool, Stoke City, Southampton, Reading
Group C: Sunderland, Derby County, Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa
Group D: West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Arsenal, Fulham
Group E: Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, West Ham United
Group F: Manchester United, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Norwich City