Date: 27th July 2016 at 4:11pm
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With the announcement earlier today of the 16 Category One sides that will take part in the EFL Trophy trial this season, there was also the announcement of the Group Stage draw.

Details were thin on the ground for a bit, but in recent hours the Football League have now announced the match day running schedule for the Group Stage portion of the tournament.

All clubs now know what games they are home and away for but the final dates of each tie are yet to be confirmed and put in the fixture list.

Northern Group A:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Bolton Wanderers v Everton
Blackpool v Cheltenham Town

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Cheltenham Town v Everton
Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Cheltenham Town v Bolton Wanderers
Everton v Blackpool

Northern Group B:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Chesterfield v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Accrington Stanley v Crewe Alexandra

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Crewe Alexandra v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Chesterfield v Accrington Stanley

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Crewe Alexandra v Chesterfield
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Accrington Stanley

Northern Group C:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Bradford City v Stoke City
Bury v Morecambe

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Morecambe v Stoke City
Bradford City v Bury

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Morecambe v Bradford City
Stoke City v Bury

Northern Group D:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Fleetwood Town v Blackburn Rovers
Oldham Athletic v Carlisle United

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Carlisle United v Blackburn Rovers
Fleetwood Town v Oldham Athletic

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Carlisle United v Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Northern Group E:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Port Vale v Derby County
Mansfield Town v Doncaster Rovers

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Doncaster Rovers v Derby County
Port Vale v Mansfield Town

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Doncaster Rovers v Port Vale
Derby County v Mansfield Town

Northern Group F:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Rochdale v Sunderland
Notts County v Hartlepool United

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Hartlepool United v Sunderland
Rochdale v Notts County

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Hartlepool United v Rochdale
Sunderland v Notts County

Northern Group G:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Scunthorpe United v Middlesbrough
Shrewsbury Town v Cambridge United

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Cambridge United v Middlesbrough
Scunthorpe United v Shrewsbury Town

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Cambridge United v Scunthorpe United
Middlesbrough v Shrewsbury Town

Northern Group H:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Sheffield United v Leicester City
Walsall v Grimsby Town

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Grimsby Town v Leicester City
Sheffield United v Walsall

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Grimsby Town v Sheffield United
Leicester City v Walsall

Southern Group A:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Bristol Rovers v Reading
Yeovil Town v Portsmouth

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Portsmouth v Reading
Bristol Rovers v Yeovil Town

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers
Reading v Yeovil Town

Southern Group B:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
AFC Wimbledon v Swansea City
Plymouth Argyle v Newport County

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Newport County v Swansea City
AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Newport County v AFC Wimbledon
Swansea City v Plymouth Argyle

Southern Group C:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016 *
Swindon Town v Chelsea *
Oxford United v Exeter City

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016 *
Exeter City v Chelsea *
Swindon Town v Oxford United

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Exeter City v Swindon Town
Chelsea v Oxford United

* Chelsea`s Fixture for Match Day 1 will take place during w/c 12th September and Match Day 2 will take place w/c 17th October.

Southern Group D:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Coventry City v West Ham United
Northampton Town v Wycombe Wanderers

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Wycombe Wanderers v West Ham United
Coventry City v Northampton Town

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Wycombe Wanderers v Coventry City
West Ham United v Northampton Town

Southern Group E:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Charlton Athletic v Southampton
Crawley Town v Colchester United

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Colchester United v Southampton
Charlton Athletic v Crawley Town

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Colchester United v Charlton Athletic
Southampton v Crawley Town

Southern Group F:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Peterborough United v Norwich City
Milton Keynes Dons v Barnet

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Barnet v Norwich City
Peterborough United v Milton Keynes Dons

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Barnet v Peterborough United
Norwich City v Milton Keynes Dons

Southern Group G:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Southend United v Brighton & Hove Albion
Leyton Orient v Stevenage

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Stevenage v Brighton & Hove Albion
Southend United v Leyton Orient

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Stevenage v Southend United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leyton Orient

Southern Group H:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Millwall v West Bromwich Albion
Gillingham v Luton Town

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Luton Town v West Bromwich Albion
Millwall v Gillingham

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Luton Town v Millwall
West Bromwich Albion v Gillingham

Dates for all rounds have already been announced as follows:

Round 2 – w/c December 5.
Round 3 – w/c January 9.
Round 4 – w/c January 23.
Semi Final – w/c February 20.
Final – Sunday April 2, 2017, at Wembley Stadium.

As for rule specifics this year.

Three points for a win – one for a draw. At the end of 90 minutes if drawn, a penalty shootout will take place with the winning team earning an additional point.

The top two teams in each group go through to the knockout stages. The group winner goes through to face a runner up at the next stage.

Round 3 (16 sides) and Round 4 (8 sides) will be a free draw.

The Semi Final will be a free draw and a single leg at the stadium of the side drawn first.

Further arrangements for Semi Final and Final will be confirmed later – for example, if drawn like earlier rounds, it goes straight to penalties.

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