Spurs under 18’s versus Southampton: (match preview)
Our under 18’s will take a trip down to the south coast on Saturday to face Southampton in the under 18 southern league. It’s been an excellent start to the season for Matt Wells’s talented side, who have won their first three league games of the season, and sit joint top of the southern league along with Arsenal and West Ham on nine points. After another excellent performance to beat Chelsea 2-0 at Hotspur Way last Saturday, Wells’s side will be brimming with confidence ahead of our encounter with the Saints. We have enjoyed our time at Southampton’s Staplewood training ground during recent seasons. Last season we beat a richly talented Southampton side 2-1, the season before that we thrashed them 6-2 and the season before that we beat them 3-1! Hoping to carry that winning trend into Saturday’s game, Spurs will be hoping to produce more of the sparkling attacking football which saw them overcome Brighton, Swansea and Chelsea so comprehensively. Long famed for their academy set up, Southampton were one of the most impressive sides we played at under 18 level last season. Although we beat them 2-1 at Staplewood, they gave us a really tough game. Moving the ball around well, they were menacing going forwards. The attacking Irish duo of Michael Obafemi and Jonathan Afolabi were particularly troubling that day, thankfully they are no longer eligible to play at this level. Craig Fleming’s Southampton side haven’t started the new season in the best of form, having only picked up one point from their first three league games. That solemn point came in the Saints 2-2 draw with Fulham last Saturday. Southampton actually had a really good season in the league during the 2017/18 campaign. Finishing above us in third place, Fleming’s side finished the season with 42 points. Arguably not as strong as last season Southampton’s main danger men are Sean Brennan and Craig Norton. It’s also worth mentioning their 16 year old winger Rio Glean, Glean was a schoolboy with Spurs last season. However, they also have a particularly strong defence.
With the likes of Kameron Ledwidge, Pascal Kpohomouh and David Agbontohoma just some of their talented defenders. With the under 23 game against Arsenal occurring the night before the Southampton game, I wouldn’t be surprised if Parrott, Maghoma and possibly even Bennett are selected for that game. Hence, being unavailable for our encounter with the Saints the following morning, this could mean that the likes of Mukendi and Asante will start the game. On current form you’d have to fancy our lads making it four wins from four when these two teams meet on Saturday morning. However, a team of Southampton’s ilk can never be underestimated and if we let them play their own brand of attacking football then they will punish us for it. I’m sure it will be an entertaining game of football down on the south coast and as always I shall be there to report on it. After reporting on our under 23’s north London derby at the Emirates the previous night I’ll be heading straight down to Southampton ahead of Saturday mornings game.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie (OG*), Tainio, Binks, Lyons-Foster, White, Bowden, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Patterson, Mukendi, Asante.
Subs from: Oluwayemi, Walcott, Okedina, Thorpe, Pochettino.
Doubtful: Dennis Cirkin and Maxwell Statham.
Injured/unavailable: Rodel Richards and Rayan Clarke.
OG* = Overage goalkeeper.
Previous meeting: 1-1.
My score prediction: Spurs 2-0.
My one to watch: Southampton’s nimble footed forward Sean Brennan, adept at playing out wide or through the middle as a number ten. Brennan represented Ireland at the U17 Euros this summer and is another Irish teenager to have made the move to the south coast club. Brennan was particularly threatening during our 1-1 with Southampton at Hotspur Way last season. The 17 year olds trickery and speed down the left side caused major problems for Tottenham fullback Jamie Reynolds that day.