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Premier sides in EFL Trophy including Chelsea and West Ham

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Tyler Roberts

Luton Town will be facing the Under-23 side of West Bromwich Albion in this season's new-look EFL Trophy after the draw for the group stage was made on Wednesday morning.

Leicester City's under-21s will take on Sheffield United, Walsall and Grimsby in Northern Group H of the revamped EFL Trophy.

Penalties will be used to settle draws in the group games, with the successful team earning an extra point.

Clubs initially voted on the changes to the competition but Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony is now unimpressed, telling BBC Cambridgeshire: "If I'd have known such a large amount of Premier League sides (would not take part) then no chance".

Crystal Palace and Watford were not invited to compete because they do not have Category One academy status. Round 2 (32 teams) will remain regionalised with each group victor being drawn at home to a second placed team from a different qualifying group.

A number of Premier League clubs such as Man Utd and Liverpool have declined the invitation.

The Cod Army on the other hand are set to face Blackburn Rovers' Under 23s, Carlisle United and Oldham Athletic in Northern Group D.

"There's some really high calibre teams in the draw", he added.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore rebuffed these claims, stating: "We look overseas and see the benefit of B teams (Spain the primary example)".

"Although Newcastle United supports the principle of the competition's new format, participating in the EFL Trophy is not something the club wishes to do this season". We are absolutely consistent on our view about no B teams in the regular Football League.

The group stages will start in the last week of August, with the knock-out rounds beginning at the start of December and the final on April 2, 2017.

"Yes, of course we know some of our clubs would like B teams".

That means that, for this season at least, the inclusion of some of English football's biggest names in the FA's third domestic cup competition in order to stoke interest won't be happening.

"We can console all these anxious Football League clubs' supporters".

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