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Young Magpies to learn Papa John's Trophy opponents this week

Newcastle United will discover their group opponents in next season's Papa John's Trophy on Thursday.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that United would be one of 16 Category One academies joining the 48 teams from League One and Two for next season's competition, which was won by Sunderland's first team last term. 

Those invited clubs will field under-21 teams who will be placed into respective Northern and Southern section groups, with the EFL clubs placed into pre-determined groups prior to the draw. Consideration has been given to ensure travel time is minimised and recovery time is maximised for players.

In the event of two teams meeting in the group stages for a second successive season, the club who was at home in 2020/21 will play away in 2021/22. All EFL clubs will play two of their three matches at home in the group stages.

Matchday one is scheduled to take place on the week commencing Monday, 30th August, with the second group stage fixture set to take place on the week commencing Monday, 4th October.

United will wrap up their initial fixtures on the week commencing Monday, 8th November and, should they progress, could have a round of 32 clash to look forward to on the week commencing Monday, 29th November.

Last term, Newcastle were unable progress from a group featuring Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers but in 2018/19, they won all three of their group games before beating Macclesfield Town on penalties at St. James' Park to set up a last-16 tie against Sunderland, who came out on top at the Stadium of Light in front of a crowd of 16,654 - more than the attendances of the other last-eight ties combined.

The draw will take place live on Sky Sports at 4.30pm (BST) on Thursday, shortly after the draw for the first round of the Carabao Cup. Newcastle enter that competition at the second round stage. 

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