Gills to learn first round opponents on Monday
The seeds have been announced for the first round of the Capital One Cup draw which will be made on Monday morning.
The Gills are among the unseeded teams in the southern section of the draw, meaning we will play one of the following sides:
Brighton & Hove Albion
Milton Keynes Dons
Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers are arguably the pick of the ties having just been relegated from the Premiership.
Harry Redknapp remains at the helm and is busy putting together a side capable of returning to the top flight at the first time of asking.
The former West Ham Manager replaced Mark Hughes in November, but was unable to turn around the club’s fortunes and they were relegated as the division’s bottom side with 25 points.
The two teams last met in April 2005 at Priestfield when Paul Furlong’s second half strike cancelled out an early Michael Flynn goal to share the spoils.
Another potential tie for Martin Allen and his players are Watford, who narrowly missed out on clinching promotion to the Premiership after a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
They finished third in the league standings and had striker Matej Vydra voted as the division’s `Player of the Season` after scoring 22 goals during his loan spell from Udinese.
The Hornets are no strangers to Priestfield having played here twice in the past 12 months. A pre-season fixture between the sides finished 3-0 to Zola’s side with Vydra scoring twice, before a development game in December saw the visitors take a 4-1 victory.
Brighton, who also lost to Palace in their bid for promotion via the play-offs last season, could potentially host the Gills for the second time in three years having met in the first round during the 2011/12 campaign.
minute penaltythAshley Barnes netted a 67 to eliminate Andy Hessenthaler’s side at the first hurdle in just their second fixture at the Amex Stadium.
Leicester City, who complete the hat-trick of sides to have missed out on Premiership football courtesy of the play-offs, could play Gillingham for the first time since January 2005 if paired together.
Nigel Pearson’s squad were beaten by Watford in a dramatic final few moments in their second leg encounter at Vicarage Road.
A missed penalty by Anthony Knockaert in the 97th minute proved costly as Troy Deeney scored at the other end just seconds later to book a place at Wembley.
Their last contest against the Gills finished in a 2-0 win for the Foxes with a Nyron Nosworthy own goal adding to a first half David Connolly effort.
Birmingham City could also provide the opposition in the first round. Lee Clark’s team finished seven points shy of a play-off spot last season and haven’t played Gillingham for over 12 years since the 1-1 draw at Priestfield in 2001, when a Darren Purse own goal helped the hosts clinch a point as Marcelo grabbed a late equalizer for the Blues.
Finally, and a game which would no doubt provide a special atmosphere, the first round could see Gillingham take on Charlton Athletic in a local derby.
The sides share a rivalry going back a number of years, although they haven’t met since March 2010 when a terrific strike from Andy Barcham helped the Gills earn a point against Phil Parkinson’s team.
Their last cup encounter (the third round of the FA Cup in January 2005) saw the Gills come from behind to win 3-2 in a memorable game at Priestfield with Paul Smith’s 34th minute effort proving to be the winner.
However Bristol City could well prove to be the Gills opponents for a second successive season in the competition.
Ben Strevens and Danny Kedwell got the goals for the visitors in a 2-1 win at Ashton Gate last August, with Marvin Elliott’s late consolation not enough to deprive the Gills a place in round two where they were unlucky to lose 2-0 against Middlesbrough at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
The draw for the first round of this season's competition will be made on Monday morning at 9.30am.
You can view the seeded and unseeded teams in both sections of the draw by clicking here.