Spurs under 18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)
Once regarded as our old nemesis at under 18 level, Chelsea’s domestic dominance over the last five or so years has come to somewhat of a halt this season. Andy Myers side exited the FA Youth Cup in the third round and they have been unable to mount a meaningful title challenge in the Premeir League South since the 2018/19 season began last August. The ‘ Blues ‘ sit behind us in the league after picking up 38 points from 19 games. A number of Chelsea’s most talented second year scholars have been playing up for the development side or even the first team. And the absence of Daishawn Redan and Billy Gilmour has been sorely felt. Still in with a chance of winning the Premier League South after John McDermott’s side recorded a 3-2 away win against Aston Villa at the weekend, Wednesday’s London Derby with Chelsea at their Cobham training centre is another must win game for the wonder boys of Hotspur Way. This game comes at quite a good time for McDermott’s side as Chelsea are currently on a bad run. Having won only one of their last five league matches, the ‘ Blues ‘ have suffered defeats to both Arsenal and Brighton, and for Andy Myers side the only thing which is left to play for this season is pride. Still an incredibley difficult venue to get a result at, our under 18’s became the first side in over three years to beat Chelsea at Cobham when they defeated them 3-0 in this fixture last season. An excellent performance from Spurs saw them beat Chelsea 2-0 in the reverse fixture back in September however, it was from easy for the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ and they really had their work cut out that day. Some Chelsea players to keep an eye on, on Wednesday afternoon are their top scorer this campaign Thierno Ballo, forward and Ireland under 19 international George Nunn, speedy wide man and former Spurs schoolboy Armando Broja and steady Northern Irish fullback Sam McClelland. McDermott’s side will once again be without a whole host of players to injury and with the likes of captain Armando Shashoua and Rodel Richards unlikely to feature it means that McDermott will have to shuffle the squad around, just like he did against Aston Villa last Saturday. The return of first year scholar Troy Parrott will massively bolster Spurs’ chances of winning their final away game of the season. I would like to wish the Spurs lads all the very best of luck for Wednesday’s game and I am feeling confident that we will get all three points.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Walcott, Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, Thorpe, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Patterson, Cooper, Parrott.
Subs from: Kurylowicz, Statham, Bowden, Pochettino, Clarke.
Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi, Maximus Tainio, Enoch Asante, Rodel Richards, Luis Binks.
Doubtful: Armando Shashoua.
Previous meeting: Spurs 2-0.
My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.
My one to watch: The ‘ Blues ‘ top scorer this season is Austrian Thierno Ballo who has netted nine goals for Chelsea’s under 18 side. Ballo operates primarily as a CAM and the first year scholar is a player who manages to get himself into good goal scoring positions, and he is also a clinical finisher.