Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s get their Premier League Cup campaign underway with a long journey to Sunderland this evening, at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground, kick-off 7pm.
Simon Rusk’s team reached the quarter finals of the competition last season, narrowly losing to Swansea City, the eventual winners, who beat Reading 2-0 on aggregate in the final.
The Seagulls progressed as group winners, and sealed the highest margin of victory by any team in the tournament when they overcame Nottingham Forest 7-0 at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.
Alongside Albion and Sunderland in Group H are Hull City and Exeter City, but Rusk’s team will begin with their longest trip in the group stage, as they take on the Black Cats in the north east this evening.
Albion head into the game after losing 1-0 to Aston Villa on Monday, but the Seagulls gave a spirited performance at Villa Park and were unfortunate to come away empty-handed.
The Black Cats are five games without a victory, most recently losing 2-1 to West Ham United, after beginning their season with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League 2 Division 1.
Albion supporters can follow a live text blog from this evening’s game on the Match Centre, with a match report being published after full-time.