Blackpool’s Checkatrade Trophy campaign gets underway with a home game against Wigan Athletic this evening, kick-off 7pm.
The match, which sees the two clubs meet for the second time in a matter of weeks, is the first of three group stage fixtures in the competition, with further games against Accrington Stanley and an under-21 Middlesbrough side to be played in October and November, respectively.
The overall format of the Checkatrade Trophy was amended in May following a vote by EFL clubs.
Key format changes include:
- Groups formed to minimise overall travel time for EFL Clubs and fans;
- Invited under 21 teams playing their Group games away from home;
- Regionalisation until the Quarter-Final stage (improved from Round Two in 2016/17) to minimise overall travel time for Clubs and fans;
- EFL team selection criteria amended to allow increased flexibility for League One and League Two Clubs;
- An increase in the total competition fund to £3 million;
The amended team selection criteria for League One and Two Clubs now permits managers to change goalkeeper for matches, though four qualifying outfield players must be named in the starting line-up.
Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer is set to make full use of that flexibility, with the likes of Ben Williams, Kelvin Mellor and recent additions Sessi D’Almeida and Scott Quigley requiring valuable game-time.
“It will be the ideal opportunity. We’ve got to conform with the rules and play four, but we’ll certainly look at giving people a game that need a game,” he admitted.
Tickets for the match this evening are priced at:
- £8 for Adults;
- £5 for Over-60s;
- £2 for Under-19s;