The schedule for the 2014/15 Barclays U21 Premier league has been released and Manchester United will play the first match of their season on 15 August against Norwich at Leigh Sports Village before an early trip to play Liverpool at Anfield on 22 August.
This season’s format will be different from last year as there will be two divisions of 12 teams. The first division will have the top 12 teams from last season’s 22 and the remaining 10 will go into another division along with Brighton and Derby.
Each team in both the divisions will play home and away fixtures and the winner of Division One will be crowned champion with the bottom two teams getting relegated and replaced by the top two finishers in Division Two.
Clubs will be allowed to play three outfield players plus a goalkeeper over the age of 21 and must host at least three matches at their main stadium and three at their training grounds or Academy venues.
One main disappointment is that, just like last season, the fixtures are very spread out. There are no matches for at least three weeks at times. The lack of regular games won’t do any good for the players and could stagnate their growth, so there should be plenty of players going out on loan this season early on to gain vital first team experience.