Hearts and Hibs could meet in Betfred Cup groups

Marvin Bartley of Hibs and Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves could meet again in the Betfred Cup
Marvin Bartley of Hibs and Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves could meet again in the Betfred Cup
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Hearts and Hibs could face each other in the group phase of this year's Betfred League Cup.

The Edinburgh rivals are both in the northern region for Friday's draw, with Hearts a first seed and Hibs a second seed. The group phase involves eight sections of five teams playing on a regionalised basis - four "north" groups and four "south" groups. Each of the eight groups will contain a club seeded first, one seeded second, plus three unseeded teams.

Hibs' promotion from the Championship guarantees a return of the Edinburgh derby to the Ladbrokes Premiership fixture list, but the two Capital neighbours will meet before a league ball is kicked if the draw puts them in the same section.

Hearts intend to play their home Betfred Cup games at Tynecastle in front of three stands whilst they rebuild the ground's main stand.

Clubs who have qualified for Europe bypass the group phase, which starts on July 15. Those seeded first are: Hearts, Ross County, Dundee and Inverness (all north region), plus Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Hamilton (all south region).

Seconds seeds are: Hibs, Falkirk, Dundee Utd and Dunfermline (all north region), plus Morton, Queen of the South, St Mirren and Dumbarton (all south region).

Unseeded clubs are: Raith, Alloa, Brechin, East Fife, Peterhead, Arbroath, Forfar, Montrose, Elgin, Stirling Albion, Cowdenbeath and Buckie Thistle (all north region), plus Ayr Utd, Livingston, Airdrie, Queen's Park, Stranraer, Albion Rovers, Stenhousemuir, Annan, Edinburgh City, Berwick Rangers, Clyde and East Kilbride (all south region).

The Betfred Cup group stage draw takes place at 6.30pm this Friday, June 2. It will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2, and via the Scottish Professional Football League's Twitter and Facebook accounts.