New Premier League 2 format and fixtures finalised

A photo of Kevin Mfuamba watching play during Albion's pre-season friendly against Salford

A new format for the Premier League 2 competition has been finalised, which will see Albion’s U21s compete in the same division as all other Category One academy sides for the 2023/24 campaign.

The 26 teams have been seeded, based on their performances over the last three seasons, into five pots. Richard Beale’s young Baggies will play a total of 20 league games over the course of the year, facing each club in their own pot as well as three-five teams in all other pots.

At the end of the campaign, the top 16 sides in the PL2 standings will qualify for a single-elimination play-off format. These matches will be decided based on league positions, with first-placed playing 16th, second-placed facing 15th etc.

And those clubs finishing in the top 12 spots will be invited to compete in the Premier League International Cup tournament for the 2024/25 season.

A tasty derby clash awaits Albion’s young pros in their first fixture of the season.

They play local rivals Aston Villa at their Bodymoor Heath Training Ground on Friday, August 11 (ko 7pm), with the 21s’ first home game of the campaign coming at The Hawthorns against Blackburn Rovers on Monday, August 21 (ko 7pm).

The full fixture list can be found below.

Opponent Date Home/Away
Aston Villa Friday, August 11 (ko 7pm) A - Bodymoor Heath Training Ground
Blackburn Rovers Monday, August 21 (ko 7pm) H - The Hawthorns
Sunderland Friday, August 25 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Chelsea Friday, September 1 (ko 7pm) A - Kingsmeadow Stadium
Fulham Monday, September 25 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Norwich City Friday, September 29 (ko 7pm) A - Carrow Road
Crystal Palace Monday, October 30 (ko 7pm) A - VBS Community Stadium
Reading Monday, November 6 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Arsenal Monday, December 4 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Everton Friday, December 15 (ko 7pm) A - Southport FC
West Ham United Monday, January 15 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Middlesbrough Friday, January 26 (ko 7pm) A - Heritage Park
Derby County Monday, February 12 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Wolverhampton Wanderers Monday, February 19 (ko 7pm) A - AFC Telford United
Southampton Monday, March 4 (ko 7pm) H - Keys Park
Brighton & Hove Albion Friday, March 8 (ko 7.30pm) A - American Express Elite Football Performance Centre
Manchester United Monday, March 18 (ko 7pm) H - The Hawthorns
Newcastle United Saturday, April 6 (ko 1pm) A - Whitley Park
Manchester City Saturday, April 13 (ko 1pm) A - Venue TBC
Leeds United Monday, April 29 (ko 7pm) H - The Hawthorns

*All fixtures are subject to change.

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