Well a competition when you don’t know the definitive format when the season starts is a bit of a problem to be honest.
The League program now is going to be disrupted by those multiple group games as opposed to a the traditional knock-out format you expect in a cup.
When you think that teams have vital games for win a title or avoid relegation, it beggars belief that those games can be played a month or 2 months apart with other teams already knowing what to do to win the League get promoted or save their bacon. Not really a fair competition, IMO. Anyway the draw was made :
The top two from each of the seven groups go through to the knockout stage, along with the two best third-placed sides.
Group 1 – Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale, Preston North End, Manchester City
Group 2 – Tottenham Hotspur, Barnet, Colchester United, West Ham United, Watford
Group 3 – Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Reading, Keynsham Town
Group 4 – Charlton Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion, Millwall Lionesses, Queens Park Rangers, Gillingham
Group 5 – Sheffield FC, Leeds United, Sunderland, Leeds City Vixens
Group 6 – Rotherham United, Derby County, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest
Group 7 – Sporting Club Albion, Cardiff City, Aston Villa, Coventry City
The big question is how the best 3rd placed will be decided especially as some groups have 4 teams and some other 5 teams. At international level FIFA UEFA everything is clear with all rules published, here we are clearly in the dark and it is really annoying. Same as the 2nd champions league place offered to Birmingham after being originally given to the FA Cup winners.
So here are yesterdays results and as it is round 1 only, it is a bit early to know who is likely to qualify with so many games to be played.
Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Rochdale
Preston North End 2-4 Manchester City
Colchester United 1-1 West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Barnet
Portsmouth 7-0 Plymouth Argyle
Reading 3-1 Keynsham Town
Charlton Athletic 6-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Millwall Lionesses 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield FC P-P Leeds United
Sunderland P-P Leeds City Vixens
Leicester City WFC 1-2 Nottingham Forest
Aston Villa P-P Coventry City
Sporting Club Albion 0-2 Cardiff City