Reserves 2011-12 Fixture List Takes Shape

The English Reserve League structure is an ever-changing one, with the landscape never quite clear year on year.

For 2011-12, things are set to change again as Chelsea prepare to defend their title.

According to News Wales, sixteen of the twenty Premier League teams will enter the competition, with Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur electing not to take part.

Things have been made slightly easier this year with the geography of the promoted clubs, facilitating a simple north/south split of eight teams apiece.

Last season, it was deemed necessary to split ten northern teams into two pools of five, with the remaining six southern and midland-based clubs in their own section.

Teams will play opponents in their own group twice, and will meet those on the other side of the divide once, four at home and four away.

This means that despite the number of teams remaining the same, the overall number of fixtures Chelsea will play increases from 20 to 22.

The breakdown of teams is reportedly as follows:

South: Arsenal, Fulham, Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Swansea City

North: Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United, Liverpool, Sunderland, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Everton

This information is, of course, provisional and awaits full confirmation from the Premier League. Rumours circulated that the league was due for a shake-up under the Elite Player Performance Plan proposals but it is now likely those will not come into effect until 2012-13 at the earliest.

The Blues are also on the lookout for a new reserve team coach, with Steve Holland having been promoted to join Andre Villas-Boas’ first team coaching staff.

You can keep bang up to date with all things youth and reserve at Stamford Bridge here at throughout the season.