Sunderland avoid Mags’ Under-21s in Checkatrade
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.