Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview)
Wayne Burnett’s development side are in a rich vein of form going into Sunday’s PL2 encounter with Derby County at Pride Park. Our under 23’s have won their last three games in all competitions and have only conceded one goal from those three games. A particularly impressive 1-0 win over a strong Leicester City side which included two overage players last Friday, will only improve our lads confidence going into tomorrow’s match, despite the fact that we are missing a whole host of players to injury. The rams who are managed by Darren Wassall are also in fine form and they have recorded some impressive results so far this season, and are unbeaten in their last four games. Sitting in a comfortable fourth place in the division one table, Wassall’s side have won four of the eight league games that they have played so far this season. And after beating Liverpool 3-2 in their last PL2 outing they have proved that they will be no pushovers for Burnett’s side. Although we have the far better players, Derby do have some talent in their ranks and some of their more notable ones include 17 year old goalscoring midfielder Louie Sibley, skilful winger and older brother of our defender TJ, Aaron Eyoma and silky young Irish midfielder Josh Knight. It is also worth noting that in recent games Wassall has fielded overage players Curtis Davies, Alex Pearce and George Thorne. We contested two really interesting games with the rams last season, the PL2 fixture at Pride Park was a very close game which we lost 1-0. Whilst the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way saw a dominant Spurs side overcome Derby 4-2 in a game most memorable for Anthony Georgiou’s stunning goal from over 25 yards out. I couldn’t be happier with how Burnett’s young side are playing at the moment considering the fact that we have been without the likes of Harrison, Amos and Georgiou. We have been controlling games recently and have been playing some really nice attacking football. Since we got thumped 6-0 by Everton last month, Burnett’s youngsters couldn’t have responded better, and just like our inform under 18 side they have been a real joy to watch.
Some of our younger players such as Paris Maghoma who scored a glorious goal in our 2-2 draw with PSV in the UEFA youth league in midweek, is one player who has really contributed to Spurs’ recent good form. As has Cypriot youth international Jack Roles who has played a part in five of our last eight goals. I’m also hoping to see second year scholar Jamie Bowden who made his PL2 debut in last weeks 1-0 win over Leicester, start tomorrow’s game in the centre of the park after he impressed against Leicester. I will be at Pride Park reporting on tomorrow’s game and I am feeling confident that our lads high intensity attacking football will prove to be too much for Wassall’s defensive Derby side. There would appear to be no planned streams of Sunday afternoons game. My in-depth report of the game will be out on Monday evening.
My predicted lineup: (4-3-2-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga, Reynolds, Skipp, Marsh (c), Bowden, Maghoma, Roles, Sterling.
Subs from: Glover, Brown, Duncan, Oakley-Boothe, Parrott.
Injured/unavailable: Shayon Harrison, Luke Amos, Shilow Tracey and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.
Doubtful: Anthony Georgiou, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Jonathan De Bie and Charlie Freeman.
Previous meeting: Spurs 4-2.
My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.
My one to watch: Aaron Eyoma. The 21 year old former Arsenal player who is the older brother of our defender TJ, really impressed me during our 4-2 win over Derby last season. And on numerous other occasions when I have seen him play, Eyoma is a pacy winger who possesses good skill and ball control. The winger has made 5 PL2 appearances for Derby so far this season and its entirely possible that TJ could be defending that right flank against his older brother for tomorrow’s game.