The SPFL is pleased to announce the seeding pots and numbers for Friday’s Betfred Cup Group Stage draw.
The draw will be conducted live on BT Sport 2 at 6.30pm this Friday (2 June), as well as being streamed live and free-to-view on BT Sport’s Facebook page and Twitter feed @btsportfootball, with the live stream shared by the SPFL’s own social media channels.
The draw comprises 40 clubs: the 38 SPFL clubs not participating in European competitions plus East Kilbride (Lowland League champions) and Buckie Thistle (Highland League champions).
The format of the 2017 Betfred Cup Group Stage draw is as follows:
The draw will produce eight groups of five teams on a regionalised basis – four ‘North’ groups and four ‘South’ groups.
– All eight groups will be made up of one 1st seed, one 2nd seed and three unseeded clubs.
– Prior to the draw the 40 participating teams are placed into one of three pots based on league positions at the end of season 2016/17 – 8 x 1st seeds, 8 x 2nd seeds and 24 x unseeded teams.
Each of the pots is then individually split into two equal halves: North and South
o 8 x 1st seeds = 4 x North and 4 x South;
o 8 x 2nd seeds = 4 x North and 4 x South;
o 24 x Unseeded = 12 x North and 12 x South.
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 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.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up progress to the last 16 where they are joined by holders Celtic and fellow European representatives Aberdeen, Rangers and St Johnstone.
It is anticipated that, following Friday’s evening’s 2017 Betfred Cup Group Stage draw, the fixture list and TV selections will be published week commencing Monday, 5 June.
North section – first seeds
1 Heart of Midlothian
2 Ross County
4 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
North section – second seeds
11 Dundee United
12 Dunfermline Athletic
North section – unseeded teams
17 Raith Rovers
18 Alloa Athletic
19 Brechin City
20 East Fife
23 Forfar Athletic
25 Elgin City
26 Stirling Albion
28 Buckie Thistle
South section – first seeds
5 Partick Thistle
8 Hamilton Academical
South section – second seeds
14 Queen of the South
15 St Mirren
South section – unseeded teams
29 Ayr United
32 Queen’s Park
34 Albion Rovers
36 Annan Athletic
37 Edinburgh City
38 Berwick Rangers
40 East Kilbride