Spurs under 18’s versus Fulham: (match preview)
After the ecstasy of last Sunday’s historic league match against Southampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, John McDermott’s title challenging side will return to reality on Saturday morning when they take on London rivals Fulham at Hotspur Way. The whole experience of last Sunday will stay with our young players for the rest of their careers, and it should give them a huge boost going into the remaining five league games of the season. McDermott’s side have a busy schedule coming up and after Saturday’s game against Fulham the side will turn their attentions to a massive North London Derby with Arsenal on Tuesday. However, before the wonder boys of Hotspur Way can even begin to think about that game they will have to try and overcome Colin Omogbehin’s talented Fulham side. Our undefeated under 18 team had quite a fright when we played the ‘ Cottagers ‘ in the reverse fixture, last November. A very well structured Fulham team came very close to inflicting our first league defeat of the season, but for some late heroics from our goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi. I personally thought that Omogbehin’s team were technically one of the best that we have come up against this season. Defensively speaking they were very difficult to break down on the day and they used the width of the pitch well to stretch our defence. However, the West London clubs league form since we last played them has been anything but impressive. Fulham occupy seventh place in the league table, having picked up 24 points from the 18 league games that they have played this season. The ‘ Cottagers ‘ away form has been particularly poor and Omogbehin’s side have picked up just seven points from their nine away matches in the league. Fulham do have a number of talented young players in their under 18 side, of which includes centre forward and their top scorer this season with seven goals Terry Ablade. Skilful winger Harvey Elliott is another one of Fulham’s danger men along with attacking midfielder Sonny Hilton and winger Fabio Carvalho. Another player worth mentioning is Fulham’s captain and commanding centre half Scott Armsworth.
I think that Saturday mornings match will be a tough one for John McDermott’s side regardless of Fulham’s recent poor form. However, if our young lads manage to start the game with the same energy and positivity which they started the Southampton game with, then they are in with a fighting chance of continuing their excellent league form to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal. I would like to wish our lads all the very best of luck for Saturday’s important game. I am hoping that we will see some important players return from injury to play in Saturday’s London Derby. My in-depth match report will be published on Sunday.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Walcott, Binks, Cirkin, White, A.Shashoua (c), Bennett, Markanday, Clarke, Whittaker.
Subs from: Kurylowicz, Statham, Thorpe, Pochettino, Patterson.
Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi, Maximus Tainio.
Doubtful: Jamie Bowden, Phoenix Patterson, Enoch Asante, Troy Parrott, Rodel Richards.
Previous meeting: 1-1.
My score prediction: Spurs 5-1.
My one to watch: The ‘ Cottagers ‘ promising winger Harvey Elliott (15) made national news earlier on in the season, after he became the youngest ever player to feature for their first team. The Fulham schoolboy came off the bench to appear in a league cup game against Millwall. The England under 17 international is a very skilful left footed winger who has a good burst of pace and low centre of gravity about him. The tricky wide man has scored five goals for Fulham’s under 18 side so far this season and he is a player that the Spurs defence will have to be wary of.