The Checkatrade Trophy is a midweek knockout cup competition which includes 64 teams made up of EFL League One and League Two clubs, plus an additional 16 invited sides from Premier League and EFL Championship clubs with Category One Academies.
The competition was first established in 1983 and offers clubs a realistic opportunity of appearing in a showpiece final. Central to the competition is the introduction of a group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams. The groups are made up of one invited Category One side, with the remainder made up of EFL Clubs from either League One or League Two, with fixtures regionalised until the quarter-final stage of the competition. The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2018. The competition attracts over 200,000 spectators each season and a cumulative domestic TV audience of almost 400,000.