The SPFL is pleased to announce the seeding pots and numbers for this Friday’s 2018 Betfred Cup group stage draw.
The draw will be conducted live on BT Sport 2 at 6.30pm, 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 Spartans (Lowland League champions) and Cove Rangers (Highland League champions).
The format of the 2018 Betfred Cup group stage draw is as follows:
• The draw will produce eight groups of five teams on a regionalised basis - four ‘North’ 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 2017/18 – 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.
BT Sport continues as broadcast partner of the Betfred Cup for a third season.
The group stage draw sees the 40 participating clubs scheduled to play four games across five match dates – 14 July, 18 July, 21 July, 25 July and 28 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 Hibernian.
The seeding pots and draw numbers are as follows:
First seeds (north)
1 Heart of Midlothian
2 St Johnstone
4 Ross County
First seeds (south)
7 Hamilton Academical
8 Partick Thistle
Second seeds (north)
9 Dundee United
10 Dunfermline Athletic
11 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Second seeds (south)
13 St Mirren
15 Queen of the South
Unseeded clubs (north)
17 Brechin City
18 Raith Rovers
19 Alloa Athletic
21 East Fife
22 Forfar Athletic
25 Stirling Albion
26 Elgin City
28 Cove Rangers
Unseeded clubs (south)
30 Ayr United
33 Queen's Park
34 Albion Rovers
37 Annan Athletic
38 Berwick Rangers
39 Edinburgh City
The group stage fixture list and TV selections will be published in due course.
You can follow the draw live at 6.30pm on Friday via the SPFL’s social media channels:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/spflofficial/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/spfl