Rovers start their Premier League International Cup campaign against Hertha Berlin at Ewood Park on Friday – but just what is the tournament?

Set up in 2014/15, the competition pits together 12 teams from Premier League 2, the top two tiers of Academy football in England, and 12 from across Europe. The number of entrants was expanded from 16 to 24 in 2016/17.

Teams are split in to six groups of four, with two domestic and two overseas teams in each. All games are played in the UK, with teams playing each other once.

The six group winners, and best two runners-up, qualify for the quarter finals.

Billy Barr's side have been drawn in Group C alongside Benfica, Newcastle United and Hertha Berlin. One group game has already been played, with Benfica currently top after a 2-1 win over Hertha at AFC Fylde.

Rovers are one of three teams making their debuts in the competition, alongside Wolves and Monaco, who replaced last year’s winners Bayern Munich.

Manchester City, in 2014/15, remain the only British winners of the competition, with Villarreal B winning it in 2015/16 and Porto B for the next two years before Bayern Munich’s success last season.

Teams will be made up of players under the age of 23, though three overage outfield players, and one goalkeeper, can be fielded.

That will allow Dominic Samuel to be involved, as he steps up his return from a groin injury, when Rovers host Hertha at Park on Friday (7pm) in their inaugural match in the competition. 

Next up will be Benfica at Leyland on Monday, November 25 (7pm) before their final group game at Newcastle, who return to the competition after a one year absence, on Friday, December 20 (7pm).

Rovers are one of three Championship sides involved, with representatives from Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, France and Croatia.

Entrants: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Newcastle United Southampton, Swansea City, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Villarreal, Hertha Berlin, VfL Wolfsburg, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Porto, Paris Saint-Germain, Dinamo Zagreb, AS Monaco