Spurs under 18’s versus Derby County: (match preview)
There will have been no time for Matt Wells‘ under 18 side to dwell on their painful first defeat of the season against Arsenal in the FA youth cup last week. Our under 18’s will have been busy in preparation for this Friday’s important Premier League Cup quarter final against Derby County, at the Loughborough University Stadium. This cup tie is the perfect opportunity for our youngsters to bounce back from the disappointments of last Thursday with a place in the semifinals of the Premier League Cup at stake. Without going into great detail about last weeks FA youth cup tie against Arsenal it was a game in which we deserved a lot more from. Beating Derby on Friday will be far from an easy task for Matt Wells’ side. Justin Walker’s Derby County side have been doing well this season and they currently sit in second place in the under 18 northern division ahead of both Man United and Man City. In fact Walker’s side have only lost two games in all competitions this season and it’s not surprising when you consider just how many quality young players that they have on their books. Some of Justin Walker’s talented players include midfielders Louie Sibley and Jack Stretton, silky Irish forward Jason Knight and wide man Morgan Whittaker. A lot of Derby’s most talented under 18 players are regulars in their development side and not to mention the likes of Max Bird who have already featured for the ‘ Rams ‘ first team, but they could all drop down for Friday’s big cup match. Derby’s impressive form this season will make them a difficult team to over come on Friday night but this is the perfect opportunity for Matt Wells side to get back into their rhythm and return to winning ways. Derby qualified for the quarterfinals of this competition after winning all three of their group games, and due to their excellent recent form they will fancy their chances against the wonder boys from Hotspur Way. But so will Spurs who although they might not be at full strength will be desperate to make it into the semifinals. We made the final of this competition last season and even without star man Troy Parrott they still have more than enough quality to play Derby off the park. Friday’s match will be played at a nice venue in the Loughborough University Stadium, and with a decent crowd expected to come along and watch the match it will provide some valuable experience for our youngsters.
I will be traveling up to Loughborough on Friday afternoon to report on the big game, and I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for their encounter with Derby.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Okedina, Walcott, Binks, Lyons-Foster, White, Bowden, Maghoma, A.Shashoua (c), Clarke, Bennett.
Subs from: Oluwayemi, Statham, Thorpe, Cooper, Pochettino.
Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi, Phoenix Patterson, Enoch Asante.
Doubtful: Dilan Markanday, Rodel Richards, Rafferty Pedder, Troy Parrott (Possible first team involvement against both Chelsea and Crystal Palace), Dennis Cirkin (Played a full match for our under 23’s on Wednesday night).
Previous meeting: 3-3 (April 2017).
My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.
My one to watch: The ‘ Rams ‘ young midfielder Jack Stretton is their top scorer at under 18 level this season with 12 goals and he is a player who Spurs will have to be wary of on Friday night.