Arsenal will face Tottenham Hotspur among other London rivals in the u17 Premier League Cup group stage this season, after the draw was confirmed.

The Arsenal u18s prepare to take a free-kick against Hendon FC (Photo by Dan Critchlow)
The Arsenal u18s prepare to take a free-kick against Hendon FC (Photo by Dan Critchlow)

YouthHawk posted the full u17 Premier League Cup draw on Tuesday, with Arsenal set to join Charlton Athletic, Fulham, and Tottenham Hotspur in Group E.

The group stage games will take place on 28th-29th September, 26-27th October, and 23-24th November, before a knockout stage of one-off matches from the quarter-finals to the final.

Given there are seven groups, this means the seven group winners and the one best second-place finisher progress to the knockout rounds. Last year, that meant multiple teams finishing the group on six points were eliminated.

For those wondering how Arsenal ended up in a group with so many local opponents, it wasn’t just random chance. The groups are regionalised to avoid long midweek travel for the youngsters.

After all, the teams are composed mostly of first-year scholars, with only three outfield second-year scholars and one second-year goalkeeper allowed.

Arsenal didn’t perform particularly well in the group stage last season, beating Norwich City but losing to Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester ended up progressing from that group.

Arsenal have since got their revenge on Spurs, beating them 4-1 in the league soon after the u17 PL Cup defeat, but they’ll want to put things right in the cup as well. We wish the u17s luck with this year’s tournament.