The Villarreal B team are set to participate in the Premier League International Cup for the fifth consecutive season. Miguel Álvarez’s side will compete in the tournament aiming to go as far as they can. It should be stated that the Yellows U23 have already won the tournament back in 2015/16, beating PSV Eindhoven 4-2 in the final, and last year reached the semi-finals of the competition when they were knocked out by Arsenal on penalties (5-4).
The objective of the U23 Premier League International Cup, in which every match is played on British soil, is to encourage and enrich youth football by replicating the format of European club competitions with midweek fixtures and international opponents. The PLI Cup competition is made up of 24 teams: 12 British teams and 12 European clubs invited due to their strong Academy tradition.
For this season’s competition, Villarreal U23 have been drawn into Group E with Liverpool, Swansea City and Hertha Berlin.
The teams in each of the six groups are:
- Group A: Southampton, West Ham United, Porto and Dinamo Zagreb.
- Group B: Leicester City, Reading, Sparta Prague and Feyenoord.
- Group C: Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur, Athletic Club Bilbao and Wolfsburg.
- Group D: Brighton & Hove Albion, Everton, Bayern Munich and Benfica.
- Group E: Liverpool, Swansea City, Hertha Berlin and Villarreal.
- Group F: Derby County, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and PSV Eindhoven.
The Group stage schedule for Villarreal U23 is (time in Spain):
- Wednesday 26th September: Swansea City U23 vs Villarreal U23 (Swansea City Academy, 8pm).
- Wednesday 17th October: Hertha Berlin U23 vs Villarreal U23 (Stadium TBC, 8pm).
- Wednesday 21st November: Liverpool U23 vs Villarreal U23 (Prenton Park, 8pm).