Spurs under 18’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)
Back in April our under 18’s faced Arsenal at Hotspur Way on a chilly morning in the capital, for their final league game of the 2017/18 season. Scott Parker’s last game in charge of our under 18’s was without doubt the best game he had experienced during his time in the role. Our under 18’s thrashed Arsenal albeit with a severely weakened side due to FA youth cup involvement at the time 9-0, in what was one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen from Spurs at youth level. Our lads tore the Arsenal defence to pieces with their sharp incisive passing and high pressing. By the time we’d scored our eight goal of the game the Arsenal defence had fallen apart, and they were arguing with another. Whilst it is unlikely that we will see such a scoreline when these two meet at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, this Saturdays game will be a much tighter affair. It is a top of the table clash in the southern division, as league leaders Arsenal take on Matt Wells unbeaten Spurs side in a game that both sides will really want to win. Spurs and Arsenal are the two best under 18 sides in the country in this season and both clubs have started the campaign in excellent form. Arsenal have won their last five league game and the ‘ Gunners ’ have only lost once in all competitions this season. And with some of the finest young English talents from their age group on their books, it is little wonder to see why. Although quite a few of their second years scholars have been playing up in the development side, players such as prolific centre forward Folarin Balogun, highly rated winger and former Sunderland schoolboy Sam Greenwood and commanding centre half Mark McGuinness have all starred for their under 18’s this term. And I still haven’t mentioned development squad regulars Bukayo Saka a frighteningly quick forward who caused us great problems in the PL cup last season. And clinical centre forward and England under 18 international Tyreece John-Jules who is already a regular starter for the under 23’s, both players are second year scholars.
After a two week international break Matt Wells lads will be raring to go ahead of Saturdays north London derby, their biggest game of the season so far. Wells will be wanting to put out his strongest side for this game and the likes of Troy Parrott, J’Neil Bennett and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster are all likely to feature. Our under 18’s have been in scintillating form this season and their high energy attacking performances have proved to be far too much for the majority of the teams that they have played against. However, Matt Wells’ starlets may have to go up a gear if they want to get the better of our bitter old rivals at the weekend, to go back to top of the league. I cannot wait for this one and hopefully I will be reporting back on a another positive result. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for Saturdays game.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Binks, Cirkin, White, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Patterson, Bennett, Parrott.
Subs from: Kurylowicz, Tainio, Statham, Clarke, Richards.
Injured/unavailable: Enoch Asante.
Previous meeting: Spurs 9-0.
My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.
My one to watch: Arsenal’s young and inform centre forward Folarin Balogun who has already found the back of the net on nine occasions for Arsenal under 18’s this season.