Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)
Our under 23’s play their first PL2 game of the new season later today when they host London rivals West Ham at Broadhall Way (kick off 7pm). After an interesting pre-season which saw them travel to France to compete in this years Tournoi Europeen. Burnett’s side albeit not at full strength have played some really decent football during pre-season. Looking to build on their ninth place finish in division one last season, Spurs who are bolstered by some older and experienced players will be desperate to avoid another relegation battle this season. This evenings game will also serve as an audition for many of the older players in the squad (eg: Ogilvie) who will be wanting to impress the many football league scouts and managers that will be in attendance. Players such as Ogilvie, Georgiou and Harrison in particular will most likely have scouts watching them ahead of the close of the loan window at the end of the month. We played out three thrilling games with Terry Westley’s West Ham side last season, most memorable of which came in the PL international cup when we beat them 7-2. West Ham finished last season in fifth place in division one. They’ll be no push overs for Burnett’s young side and if Westley chooses to field the likes of Toni Martinez, Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen then it will make things a lot tougher for our lads. But after all this league is about experience and development. One final word, I noticed that Jaden Brown was back training with the development side on Saturday, Brown had been on trial with NEC Nijmegen last month. As always I shall be reporting on this evenings game and shall have my in-depth match report published by the following day.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Tanganga, Dinzeyi, Ogilvie (c), Duncan, Roles, Edwards, Harrison, Georgiou, Tracey.
Subs from: Freeman, Brown, Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, S.Shashoua.
Injured/unavailable: Kazaiah Sterling, Jamie Reynolds (leg) and Tom Glover (out on trial).
Previous meeting: 2-2.
My score prediction: Spurs 1-0.
My one to watch: The hammers experienced Spanish centre forward Toni Martinez (21). The clinical target man scored 11 goals for West Ham’s development side last season before heading out on loan to Spanish side Real Valladolid in January. If he is involved tonight then his physical presence and aerial prowess will pose a big threat to Burnett’s side.