The SPFL has today announced that the Group Stage draw for the 2017 Betfred Cup will take place on Friday, 2 June.
The 2017 Betfred Cup will kick off another season of Scottish football and follows a hugely successful first year in the competition’s unique format which saw a number of innovations introduced. BT Sport continue as broadcast partner of the Betfred Cup for a second season.
The Group Stage draw sees the 40 participating clubs placed into eight groups of five and scheduled to play four games across five match dates – 15 July, 19 July, 22 July, 26 July and 29 July (subject to broadcast selections).
The format, announced in advance of the 2016 Betfred Cup, sees all drawn Group Stage matches go straight to a penalty shoot-out with the winners earning an extra ‘bonus point’ in addition to the traditional point given for a draw.
Following the Group Stage, the eight group winners and four best runners-up join the four UEFA participants in the second round when the competition reverts to knockout matches, culminating in the 2017 Betfred Cup Final on Sunday 26 November. Celtic defeated Aberdeen 3-0 in the 2016 Betfred Cup Final this season.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “We’re very pleased to be able to confirm that the Group Stage draw of the 2017 Betfred Cup will take place on Friday, 2 June, a date for clubs and supporters to really look forward to.
“The first year of the new format was universally popular and with 80 Group Stage matches to be enjoyed during the summer it is the perfect way to kick off another Scottish football season of entertainment, excitement and drama.”
Betfred Cup 2017/18 dates
Group stage matchday 1 – Saturday July 15
Group stage matchday 2 – Tuesday/Wednesday July 18/19
Group stage matchday 3 – Saturday July 22
Group stage matchday 4 – Tuesday/Wednesday July 25/26
Group stage matchday 5 – Saturday July 29
Second round – Tuesday/Wednesday August 8/9
Quarter-finals – Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday September 19/20/21
Semi-finals – Saturday/Sunday October 21/22
Final – Sunday November 26