South coast derby could return for Pompey next season

Pompey's potential Premier League opponents for this season's revamped EFL Trophy have been revealed.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 1:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 2:31 pm
David Norris cracks in his last-gasp leveller in Pompey's 2-2 draw at Southampton in April, 2012 - the last time the two teams met

The EFL Trophy, which replaces the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, has been shaken up for the 2016/17 campaign.

This season 64 clubs will take part in the competition which now includes a regionalised group stage which begins in late August.

Included in that will be 16 Premier League clubs with category one academies who must ensure that at least six of their starting XI are under the age of 21 as of June 30 this year.

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The top-flight clubs taking part were announced today. They are: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

The first round will be made up of 16 regional groups of four teams - one of the invited Premier League clubs plus at least one club from both League One and League Two - with the top two sides qualifying for the knockout stages.

Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and an additional point is up for grabs in games that finish level with penalty shoot-outs to take place.

With the regional format, it means Pompey could face trips to one of Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham - and south coast rivals Southampton.

Pompey last played a derby match in April, 2012 when David Norris’ last-gasp leveller earned a 2-2 draw in a Championship clash at St Mary’s.

The Blues were one of a third of League Two teams who voted against the proposal to introduce Premier League clubs into the competition, believing it affects its credibility.