Spurs under 18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)
After a great start to the new season with two wins from their opening two league games under new head coach Matt Wells. Spurs will be hoping to keep up their 100% record when reigning champions Chelsea come to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning. Our old nemesis Chelsea have gone under a period of transition over the summer. The highly regarded Jody Morris left his role as the blues head coach to link up with Frank Lampard at Derby. In addition Chelsea lost talented centre half Jonathan Panzo to French club Monaco, with a whole host of talented players from that age group having made the step up to the blues development side. One could argue that this new crop of players won’t continue the trend of dominating youth football at least on the domestic stage. Chelsea won the premier league south last season, including the national final after they beat northern winners Manchester United. The blues also won the inaugural edition of the premier league cup (against us!) and the FA youth cup to cap off another season of domination from the west London club on the domestic stage. You know what you’re going to get when you play Chelsea and that is possession based attacking football. Chelsea under 18’s last league game against Leicester City, for example saw them have a remarkable 73% of the possession. During our four meetings with the blues last season there was a total of 15 goals scored as we contested some thrilling matches with our London rivals. They knocked us out of the FA youth cup and defeated us 2-0 in the final of the premier league cup. However, they didn’t manage to beat us in the league, and Spurs managed to beat Chelsea at Cobham 3-0. And in doing so became the first team to beat the blues under 18 side at their training ground in over three years.
The players Chelsea head coach Alan Myers has to choose from ahead of Saturdays game is quite frankly ridiculous. He could choose from any of the following: Hudson-Odoi, Ampadu and Gilmour. However, even if Chelsea do field that trio on Saturday even though I highly doubt they will, we can still easily match their quality. Our sparkling high intensity attacking football could beat any youth team in Europe on their day. And if Wells goes with a strong lineup for the London derby on Saturday then we’ll have a fighting chance of getting one over on our old rivals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the talented Brooklyn Lyons-Foster start in defence, with Paris Maghoma and Jamie Bowden starting in midfield and Troy Parrott starting up top. Parrott was one wonder kid who Chelsea weren’t able to sign! It should be an enthralling game on Saturday morning and one in which should provide our young players (especially our first years) with a great experience. I wish our lads all the very best of luck ahead of this Saturday’s league game. My in-depth match report will be out on Sunday evening.
My predicted lineup: (4-3-3) De Bie (OG), Statham, Lyons-Foster (c), Binks, Cirkin, Bowden, A.Shashoua, Maghoma, Markanday, Parrott, Bennett.
Subs from: Oluwayemi, Okedina, White, Mukendi, Asante.
OG* = Overage goalkeeper.
Doubtful: Rodel Richards and Rayan Clarke.
Injured/unavailable: None (as far as I am aware).
Previous meeting: Spurs 3-0.
My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.
My one to watch: Signed from Crewe Alexandra this summer for a fee believed to be around £300,000, centre forward George Nunn (16) attracted the attention of a whole host of top clubs including Spurs who were rumoured to have been in for him. The clinical finisher has already scored one goal from the two games that he has played for Chelsea’s under 18 side this season, that is despite the fact that he has been playing out wide. I look forward to seeing him in action, he is very highly rated.