The Baggies to compete in Division 2
ALBION’s fixtures for the 2016/17 Premier League 2, formerly known as the Under-21 Premier League, have been released.
The Baggies, who will compete in Division 2, start their campaign with a trip to Swansea City on Monday, August 15 (ko 7pm).
James Shan’s side then welcome Fulham to Aggborough on Monday, August 22 (ko 7pm).
Albion’s final league game will be against West Ham United on Monday, April 24, 2017 (ko 7pm) with that fixture set to take place at The Hawthorns.
There are two derby clashes against Wolves to look forward to before Christmas while games against fellow local rivals Villa are scheduled for September and January.
Premier League 2 format explained:
Premier League 2 is a new competition with a greater focus on a level of play in terms of technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to first-team experience as possible.
The age limit for players has risen from Under-21 to Under-23 (namely, players born after 1 January 1993).
The rules regarding over-age players will remain the same, where each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three “over-age” outfield players in every match.
The format for the competition will remain the same, as follows:
There are 12 teams in Division 1 and 12 in Division 2, with every club playing each other once at home and once away.
In Division 1, the team who finish first are champions.
The bottom two teams in Division 1 get relegated to Division 2.
In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1. There is no relegation from Division 2.
Teams ranked second, third, fourth and fifth in Division 2 go into a promotion play-off.
The side finishing second play the fifth-placed team at home and third host fourth in the semi-finals, both at the clubs’ main stadiums. The final takes place at the home ground of the team who finished higher in the league.
All play-off matches are one-off ties, decided by extra-time, then penalties if the match is level after 120 minutes.
Teams in Division 1
Arsenal, Chelsea, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur.
Teams in Division 2
Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Swansea City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Albion’s Premier League 2 fixtures in full can be found below.
Monday, August 15, 2016 – Swansea City (A), TBC, 7pm
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Fulham (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 – Wolves (A), Molineux, 7pm
Monday, September 12, 2016 – Brighton & Hove Albion (H), The Hawthorns, 7pm
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Aston Villa, (A), TBC, 7pm
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Stoke City, (H), The Hawthorns, 7pm
Monday, October 17, 2016 – Norwich City, (A), Carrow Road, 7pm
Monday, October 24, 2016 – Blackburn Rovers, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, October 31, 2016 – West Ham United, (A), TBC, 7pm
Monday, November 21, 2016 – Newcastle United, (A), TBC, 7pm
Monday, November 28, 2016 – Middlesbrough, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, December 12, 2016 – Wolves, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, December 19, 2016 – Brighton & Hove Albion, (A), TBC, 7pm
Monday, January 9, 2017 – Aston Villa, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Stoke City, (A), TBC, 2pm
Monday, January 30, 2017 – Norwich City, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, February 6, 2017 – Newcastle United, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Middlesbrough, (A), Hartlepool United FC, 7pm
Monday, March 6, 2017 – Swansea City, (H), Aggborough, 7pm
Monday, March 13, 2017 – Fulham, (A), Fulham FC Training Ground, 7pm
Monday, April 10, 2017 – Blackburn Rovers, (A), Ewood Park, 7pm
Monday, April 24, 2017 – West Ham United, (H), The Hawthorns, 7pm