Checkatrade Trophy Explained
What is the Checkatrade Trophy?
The International Break is in full swing, as we desperately look for fixtures to get our daily hit of football. Suddenly, we come across the Checkatrade Trophy (EFL Trophy). But what is it?
Formerly known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, it is a knockout competition for clubs playing in League One, Two and the Premier League/Championship Academy teams.
The Checkatrade Trophy features a total of 64 teams battling it out for the sacred cup, with 24 teams from League One, 24 from League Two and 16 from the Premier League or Championship Category One Clubs.
The Academy teams inclusion has been met with some resistance, which saw record-breaking low attendances across the country with the lowest seeing just 964 people attend Mansfield v Everton Academy on the 31st October 2017.
Teams are split into 16 regional groups (North and South) of four teams, of which the top two will progress to the knockout stages, with the final staged at Wembley Stadium. Each club plays against each other club once in the group stages.
- Each EFL Club must field a minimum of five first-team players in the starting 11.
- For invited clubs, six of the starting 11 must be under 21 as of June 30th.
- No player can play for more than one club in the competition in any one season.
- Each team can have 7 subs, with no more than 3 taking part.
- Cautions and sending-offs are exclusive to the tournament.
Group matches are the standard 90-minute duration, with no extra time. If the scores are level at the end, both teams will be awarded one point. The match will be followed immediately by penalties and the club that wins the shootout will be awarded an additional point.
Three points are awarded for wins and zero points for a defeat. If two or more clubs are equal on points at the end of the group stage, the following criteria are applied to determine who will qualify:
- Goal Difference
- The highest number of goals scored in the group matches
- Number of wins after normal time (not including draws and penalties)
- Their H2H record in the group stages
Round of 32
The eight winnings and eight runners-up of the north and south group stages qualify for the round of 32. There will be a draw to randomly determine who will play each other, with the winners being drawn at home against the runners-up of a group from the same region, but not the same group.
The matches will be 90 minutes with no extra time if there is a draw the match will be determined by penalties.
Round of 16
The 16 winners from round 32 will be randomly paired by means of a draw, with the matches continuing the same format. Just the 90 minutes, with no extra time. If the match is level at the end, penalties will determine the winner.
The eight winners from round 16 will be randomly paired by means of a draw. Again, the matches will feature just 90 minutes with no extra time. If the match is level at the end, penalties will determine the winner.
The four winners from the quarterfinals will be paired by means of a draw. The matches are just one leg and will be 90 minutes in duration. Extra time can be played in this match, but the match will be determined by penalties if the scores are level at the end.
The hallowed pitch of Wembley awaits the best two teams, with the match consisting of 90 minutes or extra time is determined by the Board. The match will be determined by penalties if the match is level at the end.