Leeds United return to the EFL Trophy for the first time in 10 years on Tuesday evening as they travel to take on Accrington Stanley.
The rules have changed since the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy though, and Premier League sides are now given the chance to compete through their under-21 sides.
Eligibility rulings mean that Mark Jackson will need to name a minimum of six players from his under-18s side at the Wham Stadium against an experienced League One team.
Leeds have shared a preview on their website on Tuesday, and have named four players that are in line to start the clash with Stanley.
New signing Charlie Allen is in line for his competitive debut, after the highly-rated 16-year-old arrived from Linfield this summer.
Alongside him, three players that have been at Thorp Arch for much longer – Cooper Skerry, Owen Bray and Josh Galloway are also “expected to play”.
The Whites do mention that much of the under-18 squad that featured against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Trophy last season should be present.
We were at Old Trafford that night for the 1-0 defeat, and the youngsters put in a great performance against a much-better side filled with young superstars.
Charlie Cresswell and Stuart McKinstry both caught our eye on that evening, but the duo have gone from strength-to-strengthen with the under-23s and in first-team training since, so it is unknown whether they will be available.
It will be interesting to see whether or not other new signings such as Sam Greenwood, Joe Gelhardt and Cody Drameh will be given the chance for a competitive start too.
Obviously, there is little chance of them featuring against Liverpool on Saturday and the under-23s don’t start their season until next Monday – so tonight would be the perfect opportunity for those three.
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