COLCHESTER United will host Arsenal under-21s in the group stages of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

The Gunners' academy side will join the U's, Leyton Orient and MK Dons in Group E of this season's competition.

Sixteen invited under-21 teams were placed into their respective Northern and Southern regional groups, with the 48 EFL clubs placed into pre-determined groups, prior to the draw.

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This season’s under-21 sides hail from Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and last season’s quarter-finalists, Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Bristol Street Motors Trophy Group matches will get underway in early September, with dates to be confirmed.

All EFL clubs will play two of their matches at home, in the group stages.

The two top from each group progress to the knockout stages, with Bristol Street Motors Trophy fixtures remaining regionalised until the quarter-final stage.

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Until the semi-finals, no extra-time shall be played, with the winners determined by penalty kicks.

Extra-time will apply only in the final if the result is level after 90 minutes’ duration, with a period of 30 minutes played.

If still equal, the winner is then decided by penalties.

From 2024/25, the EFL and its clubs will embark on a record domestic rights deal with broadcaster Sky Sports that will see every Bristol Street Motors Trophy match broadcast live on Sky Sports for fans in the UK.