Bristol Rovers to play Premier League outfit Crystal Palace as EFL Trophy group finalised

For the first time in 15 years, Bristol Rovers will play Crystal Palace in a competitive match

<p>Crystal Palace will play Bristol Rovers for the first time since 2007. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)</p>

Crystal Palace will play Bristol Rovers for the first time since 2007. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers’ EFL Trophy group has been finalised with Crystal Palace the last team to be drawn in Group E.

It has been 15 years since Rovers last played the Eagles in a competitive match, which was a League Cup win back in August 2007 at the Memorial Stadium.

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Dougie Freedman had put the South London side ahead but Craig Disley equalised to send the game to penalties.

Rovers comfortably won on spot kicks, winning 4-1 as Steve Phillips saved Freedman’s penalty whilst Shefki Kuqi had hit the crossbar with his effort.

Palace’s academy is Category One, the highest achievable and they play in the Premier League 2 along with other Premier League academies.

They finished fourth last season ahead of the likes of  Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in their league last year. Palace’s academy finished bottom in a group of Sutton United, Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon last season though.

Former defender Paddy McCarthy is their manager having stepped up from his role as under-18’s boss.  Their top scorer was Jesurun Rak-Sakyi who scored 18 goals in 25 matches last season.

Rovers last season had Wales Under-21 international Sion Spence on loan from Patrick Viera’s side, but he ended up rarely featuring after joining last summer.

Upon returning to Selhurst Park, Spence’s contract was not renewed, leaving him to discuss his next move after a less than memorable spell.

The Gas knew already that they would be playing their League One rivals Plymouth Argyle and losing play-off semi-finalists Swindon Town..

It is all but guaranteed that Rovers’ match with Plymouth will be staged at Home Park after two games were hosted at the Mem last season, but fixture dates will be confirmed in due course.