The 16 invited Under 21 teams for the 2017/18 Checkatrade Trophy have been confirmed today, with newcomers Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Fulham taking their place in next season's competition.
Premier League Champions Chelsea will again take part and will be joined by 11 other Under 21 sides from England's top-flight as the country's leading Category One Academies look to pit their stars against professionals, young and old, from the 48 League One and League Two teams.
Four EFL Clubs will have Under 21 sides involved, with Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Reading joining Fulham in the Group Stage draw, which will take place in July with the first round of fixtures scheduled to take place week commencing 28 August.
The announcement follows the overwhelming support of League One and League Two clubs to allow the continued involvement of 16 invited sides in the Checkatrade Trophy for the next two seasons, alongside several format amendments to provide increased flexibility in team selection for League One and League Two Clubs.
The full list of invited Under 21 sides is as follows:
Brighton & Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
For the full EFL press release, visit www.efl.com