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Under-21s prepare for Oldham test

Wolves under-21s are back in EFL Trophy action tonight as they take on League Two outfit Oldham Athletic in their first group game of the 2020/21 campaign.

James Collins’ side – as the under-23s – are currently unbeaten this season, in both their Premier League 2 matches as well as pre-season friendlies, which included draws against senior EFL sides Coventry City, Walsall and Crewe Alexandra.

The development side will hoping to get off to a positive start in this season’s EFL Trophy, which will also see Wolves take on Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers, having reached the knockout stages of last year’s edition.

Tuesday night’s opponents are currently sat just outside the League Two relegation zone with Oldham suffering two defeats in their opening pair of fixtures, so will be aiming to bounce back this evening.

Elsewhere in Northern Group F, Doncaster and Bradford drew 0-0 in the group's opening game at Keepmoat Stadium earlier this month, with the hosts also adding the bonus point after winning the tie-break penalty shootout 4-1.

Due to the EFL Trophy being an EFL competition, the usual live coverage on Wolves TV will not be available for the fixtures with Oldham, Bradford and Doncaster. Follow @WolvesAcademy on Twitter for match updates.

WHEN

Tuesday, 7.45pm

WHERE

Boundary Park, Oldham

LAST THREE

Wolves

2-2 vs Leeds United (A)

3-2 vs Burnley (H)

2-1 vs Leeds United (H) Friendly

Oldham

0-3 vs Stevenage* (A)

0-1 vs Morecambe* (A) CC

0-1 vs Leyton Orient* (H)

*indicates first-team opposition

WHAT THE BOSS THINKS

On testing themselves against EFL opposition

“These sorts of games in this competition are a step up from the under-23 league," Collins said. "But that’s the reason under-21 teams were invited into the competition – to try and bridge that gap between the under-23 level and first-team level.

“This is certainly a step up, playing against a fully professional men’s team who are used to playing Saturday/Tuesday every week. It’s different to playing an under-23 team on the weekend.

“It’s going to be a big challenge because we’ve got an incredibly young group; five out of the back six are scholar age, which is incredible really, so what a great challenge it is for them, but it will be a big test.”

On the challenge Oldham will provide

“I saw them against Carlisle, a game that they won, and I thought they were a good footballing team. Harry Kewell makes sure they play football in the right way.

“But they also play in that league where people run in channels, people dip in and out down the sides and round the back, and test you in a physical way, but I do think they play good football, and it will be an entertaining spectacle.”

NEXT FIVE

22/09 Oldham Athletic* (A) EFLT

28/09 Stoke City (H)

06/10 Bradford City* (A) EFLT

18/10 Aston Villa (H)

26/10 Crystal Palace (A)

*indicates first-team opposition

#WolvesAcademy