Arsenal have drawn Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the u18 Premier League Cup group stage for the 2019/20 season.
The cup draw was announced on Tuesday, and Arsenal haven’t exactly been given an easy ride. Chelsea and Wolves are two of five teams to have won both of their u18 league games this season, with Chelsea looking as dominant as usual at u18 level.
Blackburn have had a very mixed start to the season, getting thrashed 7-1 by Liverpool before dishing out a 5-2 victory over Sunderland, so it’s hard to judge how much of a threat they are.
The other two will provide plenty of competition in the group stage though, especially given the format is essentially a fight for the top spot.
Only the two best-performing second-place teams from six groups qualify for the knockout stages, after each team has played the others in their group once.
As a result, you really need to win all three games and finish top to avoid the possibility of an early exit. That’s what happened to Arsenal last season, as they finished second to Everton but went out anyway.
Here is the full group stage draw for this season, with a notable match-up between last season’s FA Youth Cup finalists Liverpool and Manchester City: