Spurs under 18’s versus Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match preview)
Our under 18’s have started this season in the most superb way possible and after beating West Ham 9-0 in the league last weekend, Matt Wells will be hoping that his side can transfer their excellent league form into the premier league cup which starts on Saturday. Table toppers Tottenham Hotspur will get their under 18 premier league cup campaign underway on Saturday lunch time when they welcome northern division club Wolverhampton Wanderers to Hotspur Way. Spurs went on an excellent run in this tournament last season in the competition. We beat sides such as Liverpool and Arsenal en route to last seasons final in which we lost 2-0 to our old nemesis Chelsea at their Cobham training ground. Spurs will be hoping to go one step further in the competition this season and after starting the domestic campaign with five wins from their opening six league games you’d have to fancy our chances of winning the competition. Our group contains this weekends opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers as well as fellow northern division side Middlesbrough and southern side Swansea City. Only the winners of the group progress automatically to the knockout stages whilst two of the best placed runners up will join them. This is definitely a group that Matt Wells side can top. Last Saturday’s performance against West Ham was outstanding in every respect. The fluidity of their play, movement and high intensity was something to behold. They are proving to be one of the best youth teams in the country at present and they are playing with a remarkable confidence about their game, and understanding of one another. Whilst I don’t confess to have seen a great of Wolverhampton’s under 18 side over recent seasons I know that the Wanderers have produced a lot of England youth internationals. Most notable of which are Morgan Gibbs-White and Niall Ennis, the Midlands club have invested heavily in their academy over recent years. However, some encouraging news for Spurs is that Darren Ryan’s side have started the season poorly.
Winning only one of their opening six league games this campaign Wolves occupy tenth place in the northern division. This game was originally scheduled to take place at Wolverhampton’s Sir Jack Hayward training ground up until it was suddenly switched to Hotspur Way earlier in the week. The irony of that is that it would have been far easier for me to attend the game had it have been in Wolverhampton, due to me traveling back from Lancashire on the Friday night. Whilst it is unlikely that public transport will get me back to London in time for Saturday’s game I will try my very best to attend and report on what is an important cup game for Wells lads. I look forward to seeing who starts on Saturday and even if we are without several key players then our quality should still shine through against the midlanders. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) J.Oluwayemi, Statham, White, Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, Bowden, A.Shashoua (c), Patterson, Markanday, Clarke, Richards.
Subs from: Kurylowicz, Okedina, Tainio, Pochettino, Asante.
Doubtful: Troy Parrott (Possible involvement with the under 23’s).
Injured/unavailable: Malachi Walcott (injury) and J’Neil Bennett (Involvement with the development side).
Previous meeting: Spurs 7-3 (2016).
My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.
My one to watch: Wolves forward and England youth international Austin Samuels. The 17 year old netted 12 goals for their under 18 side last season.