Sun­der­land avoid Mags’ Un­der-21s in Check­a­trade

Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Sun­der­land will not be drawn against New­cas­tle United’s Un­der-21s in the group stage of the Check­a­trade Tro­phy.

The Black Cats have been pre­drawn to face Carlisle and More­cambe in a four-team group, with the draw to be com­pleted on Wed­nes­day.

Sun­der­land will also meet an Un­der-21 team from a Pre­mier League or Cham­pi­onship club, but a derby against the Mag­pies has been ruled out. The po­ten­tial Un­der-21 vis­i­tors are Ever­ton, Le­ices­ter, Manch­ester City, Mid­dles­brough, Stoke City, West Brom and Wolves.

A state­ment from the EFL read: “Southamp­tonU21swill­bepre­vented from be­ing drawn with Portsmouth and New­cas­tle U21s will avoid Sun­der­land in round one, as the EFL has com­mit­ted to work in con­junc­tion with the po­lice to avoid high-pro­file clashes in the group stages.”

The two clubs could meet later in the com­pe­ti­tion if both progress out of their sec­tions.

The match against More­cambe could see Sun­der­land visit the Lan­cashire club for the first time.

The sides have met just once be­fore, in the 2012-13 League Cup, when James McClean’s brace se­cured a 2-0 home win for Sun­der­land.

Sun­der­land’s first team has only com­peted once be­fore in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy, or its equiv­a­lent of the Sherpa Van Tro­phy, in 1987-88.

While on the way to win­ning the Third Di­vi­sion ti­tle in style, De­nis Smith’s Red and Whites beat Scar­bor­ough, Rother­ham and Crewe be­fore ex­it­ing 1-0 at home to Hartle­pool.

Sun­der­land Un­der-21s have com­peted in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy for the last two sea­sons with­out suc­cess.

They pro­gressed from the group in 2016-17 only to lose on penal­ties to Wolves in the first knock­out round. Last year, the young­sters man­aged just a draw from three group games.

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