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Development Squad

Premier League Cup last 16 – all you need to know


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth development squad will be hoping to reach the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup for the first time in their history when they face Leeds United on Friday.

The Cherries qualified for the last 16 after topping Group C with the best record of the 32 clubs which entered and meet the Whites at Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium where entry is free to supporters (7pm kick-off).

Here afcb.co.uk tells you everything you need to know about the Premier League Cup.


The Premier League Cup was introduced in 2013/14 to enhance the competitiveness of the Professional Development Phase calendar with a knockout competition alongside a regular league programme.

It is in the style of the Champions League with 32 clubs split into eight groups of four. Teams play each other home and away with the top two in each group advancing to the knockout stage.

Teams finishing top of their group have home advantage in the last 16, while the runners-up are away.

From the last 16 onwards, all games are one-off knockout ties which can go to extra-time and penalties if they are not settled over 90 minutes.

It is contested between under-21 teams with each side allowed five over-age outfield players and one over-age goalkeeper.

Previous winners: Brentford (2022/23), West Brom (2021/22), Everton (2018/19), Aston Villa (2017/18), Swansea City (2016/17), West Ham United (2015/16), Southampton (2014/15) Reading (2013/14). In 2020/21, the Premier League Cup did not take place and the previous season it did not finish due to the curtailment of the season.


In their first two seasons in the competition, they finished their group as runners-up and were knocked out in the last 16 by Newcastle (2017/18) and Nottingham Forest (2018/19).

In 2019/20, the Cherries topped their group and were due to host Wigan Athletic in the last 16 before the competition was curtailed due to the pandemic. It did not take place in 2020/21.

In 2021/22, the Cherries and Arsenal finished Group A locked on eight points and with the same goal difference. The Gunners qualified as runners-up having scored more goals than the Cherries. 

Last season, the Cherries won their first two group games but finished bottom after losing their next four.


Alan Connell’s team qualified for the knockout stage after topping Group C with the best record of the 32 clubs which entered the competition this season.

And they were the only category two club to remain unbeaten during the group stage and one of three teams not to lose a game along with Chelsea and Aston Villa.

The Cherries did the double over Charlton Athletic and Norwich City as well as beating and drawing with Wolves to end their campaign unbeaten with 16 points from a possible 18.

Dan Adu-Adjei and Balraj Landa both scored twice as the Cherries kicked-off their campaign with a 4-0 win over Charlton at Dartford’s Princes Park in September.

Following a 0-0 draw against Wolves at AFC Telford’s New Bucks Head in October, the Cherries registered an impressive 3-2 win over Norwich at the Canaries’ Lotus Training Centre in November.

Early goals from Dom Sadi and Nathan Moriah-Welsh were cancelled out by Joe Duffy’s quickfire double before Adu-Adjei popped up with the winner 17 minutes from time.

Arguably the Cherries’ best performance in the competition this season saw them register an impressive 5-1 victory over Wolves at Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium last month.

Sadi netted twice and was joined on the scoresheet by Adu-Adjei, under-18 striker Ash Clarke and Moriah-Welsh on his final appearance before joining Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian.

In their penultimate group game, Adu-Adjei’s double, coupled with goals from Sadi and Landa, saw the Cherries run out comfortable 4-0 winners over Charlton at New Cuthbury.

Landa’s finely-taken second-half goal ensured the Cherries would finish top of their group following victory over Norwich, who ended as runners-up.

He netted the only goal in the 57th minute at New Cuthbury as the win guaranteed home advantage for the Cherries in the last 16.


In similar fashion to the Champions League, the remaining stages are all knockout games which can go to extra-time and penalties if required.

However, in the Premier League Cup, games are not played over two legs and are played either home or away.

In the last 16, the group winners and runners-up will do battle for a place in the quarter-finals.

Premier League Cup last 16 ties: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds United, Fulham v Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest v Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur v Fleetwood Town, Chelsea v Norwich City, Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield United v Swansea City, Crystal Palace v Leicester City (all to be played by 2nd March).


Leeds United were awarded category one academy status in 2020 and are currently 21st in Premier League 2. They also compete in the Premier League International Cup.

They are managed by Scott Gardner, who was appointed as permanent head coach in January following the departure of Michael Skubala to Lincoln City.

Gardner, a former Leeds academy graduate, was placed in temporary charge in November when he stepped up from his role with the under-18s at Thorp Arch.

His backroom staff include former England international Stewart Downing, who is assistant coach, and Michal Pujdak and Chris Elliott.

Leeds’ last match was their final group game in the Premier League Cup when goals from Sonny Perkins (pictured above) and Charlie Allen earned them a 2-0 win against Luton Town at Clarence Park on Monday.

Allen, Marley Wilson and Luca Thomas were on target in an exciting 3-3 draw with group winners Chelsea at Kingsmeadow at the start of the month, the Whites coming from behind on three occasions to take a share of the points.

Darko Gyabi, Lewis Bate and Sean McGurk were on target when Leeds kicked-off their Premier League Cup group campaign with a 3-2 win over Colchester at the LNER Community Stadium in York in September.

Allen, Thomas, McGurk and Bate were also on the scoresheet in a 4-1 victory over Luton Town at the LNER Community Stadium as they maintained their 100 per cent winning start in October.

McGurk’s second-half goal proved in vain as the Whites suffered their only group defeat, losing 2-1 against Chelsea at the LNER Community Stadium in November.

They returned to winning ways in the competition in dramatic fashion when Joe Snowdon’s goal six minutes into added time saw them come from behind to beat ten-man Colchester United 2-1 in December, Diogo Monteiro bagging their equaliser.

Gyabi, Bate and McGurk will not feature against the Cherries having left the club during the transfer window. Gyabi (Plymouth Argyle) and Bate (MK Dons) secured loan moves, while McGurk joined Swindon Town on a permanent basis. 

Leeds United’s goalscorers in the PLC: Charlie Allen 3, Sean McGurk 3, Luca Thomas 2, Lewis Bate 2, Sonny Perkins 1, Marley Wilson 1, Darko Gyabi 1, Joe Snowdon 1, Diogo Monteiro 1.


It’s free!

Entry to Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium is free to all supporters and tickets are not required.

Click here for directions.

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