Spurs under 18’s versus Reading: (match preview)

After suffering their first league defeat of the new season last weekend, Matt Taylor’s Tottenham Hotspur under 18 side will be looking to bounce back when they take on Reading at Hotspur Way tomorrow morning (11:30am start). Spurs were defeated by two goals to nil by Premier League South leaders Aston Villa at Hotspur Way last Saturday in a game that saw the visitors have a man sent off. However, tomorrow’s opponents Reading have only won one of their opening four league games of this season, though this fixture has been a difficult one for Spurs in recent seasons, and last season we lost 3-2 at home to Reading in the league. Former Reading player Mikele Leigertwood’s under 18 side lost their last league game 5-2 Chelsea, but with a talented and well structured side, of which includes the likes of Dean Tetek, Imari Samuels and Nahum Melvin-Lambert, like Spurs they will be looking to respond with a positive result. For those interested in following tomorrow’s game, there should be half-time and full time score updates on the Spurs official Twitter account. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Muir, Paskotši, Hackett, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Whittaker, John, Santiago, Scarlett.

Subs from: Solberg, Haysman, Torraj, Carrington, Mathurin.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Alfie Devine.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Royals centre forward Nahum Melvin-Lambert. The 18 year old who scored three league goals last season, is on track to score more during the first half of this season, having scored two goals from two appearances. Melvin-Lambert impressed in this fixture last season, and he was the player who scored the winner for Reading on that day. 

Spurs under 23’s versus Everton: (match preview)

After a two week international break our inform under 23’s return to Premier League 2 action on Monday evening (kick off is at 7pm), when Wayne Burnett’s side take on Everton at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport. At this venue last season Spurs put in one of their best performances of the campaign, when they defeated David Unsworth’s Everton side 3-1, in a game in which we dominated for large periods. Everton finished in eighth position in the league last season after picking up 22 points from 18 matches, and this season they have so far picked up six points from four league games. Historically Everton away at this level has been a very difficult fixture for our development side, and in recent years we have struggled to get results against them. However, so far this campaign our under 23’s have won three and drawn one of their opening four Premier League 2 games, and they’ll surely fancy their chances against David Unsworth’s side. Everton have long been a force at this level, and they have a squad of experienced and talented players in their under 23 side. Experienced central midfielder Beni Baningime (22) who has previously played for Everton’s first team, is a tenacious player who is good at breaking up play. Another experienced player in this Everton team is 26 year old centre half (he can also fill in at fullback) Matthew Pennington, who played in Everton’s last under 23 game. However, one of their main danger men going forward is the prolific and inform centre forward Ellis Simms (19). Everton are an attacking team, at least they have been in recent seasons, they have also liked to get crosses into the box to test teams defensively, and to try and score goals. There is definitely no doubting that this will be a very difficult test for Spurs, and they will have to put in the sort of heroic performance akin to the one which saw them beat Arsenal two game weeks ago, if they are to beat Everton and return to the top of the league. New signings Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier could be involved again for the third game week running, while players who didn’t go out on loan during the EFL loan window such as Brandon Austin and Anthony Georgiou, could well be involved against Everton.

I believe that Everton are providing live updates on their website of tonight’s game while Spurs usually do their half-time and full-time updates on their official Twitter account, as games continue to be played behind closed doors. Finally, I would just like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Lavinier, Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, White, Thorpe, Clarke, Markanday, Georgiou, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Omole, Pochettino, Bennett, Etete.

Injured/unavailable: George Marsh (serving the third of a three game suspension).

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Everton’s prolific 19 year old centre forward Ellis Simms. The Oldham born player is a tall and strong striker who is good in the air, good at holding up the ball and linking play and good at finishing off chances from inside the box. Outstanding at under 18 level and a player who scored a good number of goals for the under 23’s last season, Simms has already scored four goals from Everton’s opening four games of this season.

Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

After a two week international break our under 18’s return to league action tomorrow, when they take on top of the league Aston Villa at Hotspur Way (kick off is at 12pm). The Midlands based side have won all four of their league matches so far this season after finishing in seventh position in the Premier League South last season, while Spurs on the other hand have also started the season really well, recording three wins and one draw from their opening four league matches of this season. While I haven’t seen many of Aston Villa’s current first and second year scholars play due to the fact that we only played Aston Villa once last season, 16 year old central midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka (he has already played for Aston Villa’s under 23 side) did impress in the last meeting between the two sides, and Aston Villa’s inform 18 year old centre forward Brad Young has a good amount of experience at this level. This should be a tough but entertaining game of football, like the last meeting last season when we lost 4-2 at Hotspur Way. There should be score updates posted on the official Spurs Twitter account as games continue to be played behind closed doors. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for this game, which if they win could see Spurs move up to first place in the league. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Cassanova, Muir, Lusala, Hackett, Devine, Matthew Craig, Mundle, John, Santiago, Scarlett. 

Subs from: Solberg, Kyezu, Michael Craig, Mathurin, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: 18 year old centre Brad Young, who has scored four league goals and registered one assist from four appearances for Aston Villa’s under 18 side this season.

Spurs under 23’s versus Southampton B: (match preview)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Top of the Premier League 2 Division 1 Spurs will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to the 2020/21 season, when they host Southampton’s B team on Saturday afternoon at Hotspur Way (kick off is at 2pm). The Saints who are managed by David Horseman, recently revamped their under 23 set up and have since decided to call their development side a B team, in case any of you were wondering why the name of their side had changed. Southampton finished last season in 11th place in the league with 15 points from 18 games, and our one and only meeting with them last season ended in a 2-2 draw, after a real game of two halves. A team who in recent years have played with quite a bit of width at under 18 and 23 level, Southampton have one won one, drawn one and lost one of their opening three Premier League 2 games of the season, and they currently sit in eight position. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side on the other hand have started the season in excellent form after winning two really tough matches and drawing another really tough one against Brighton. Some of David Horseman’s players that could cause Spurs some problems on Saturday afternoon include tricky Republic of Ireland youth international and winger/fullback Will Ferry, along with quick and experienced winger Josh Sims (23) who has already played a good number of Premier League games for Southampton over the years. 24 year old goalkeeper Angus Gunn played Southampton’s last game at this level and if he were to feature again on Saturday then his presence would be a real plus for the visitors. Also central midfielder Callum Slattery (21) and 24 year old winger Jake Hesketh are other players who have the potential to make a big influence on this fixture. Every game in this division is a tough one but the way that Spurs have played so far this season from what I have read on the Spurs website from the official match reports, we seem to have played really well as a team which going forward (obviously some players will likely go out on loan before the end of the transfer window) will put us in very good stead for this season.

Interestingly two trialists played in our 1-0 win over north London rivals Arsenal last Saturday, as former Chelsea fullback Marcel Lavinier and former Arsenal defender Tobi Omole played in that game, so it will be interesting to see if they feature again. Due to the current situation I will be unable to report on our game against Southampton however, Spurs usually tweet the half time and full time scores on their official Twitter account, as well as providing a match report on their website. I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for this match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Omole (Tr), Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Lavinier (Tr), White, Thorpe, Richards, Markanday, Bennett, Sterling.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Pedder, Pochettino, Etete.

Injured/unavailable: George Marsh (serving the second of a three game suspension).

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: 19 year old left winger Will Ferry will provide Southampton with speed and trickery if he does play on Saturday afternoon. The wide man has greatly impressed me whenever I have seen him play for Southampton at youth level over the years, with his very direct style of play.

Spurs under 18’s versus Fulham: (match preview)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Matt Taylor’s Tottenham Hotspur under 18 side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League South season, when they take on London rivals Fulham on Saturday morning (kick off is at 11am), at Hotspur Way. Having won two and drawn one of their opening three leagues games of the 2020/21 season, Spurs arguably face their toughest test so far in reigning Premier League South champions Fulham. The west London club have won their opening two league games of the new season, against Brighton and West Ham respectively, and Steve Wigley’s side seem to have carried on last seasons terrific form into the new campaign. In fact last season Fulham picked up an impressive total of 40 points from 17 league games, and they ended up finishing four points above second place Chelsea. One of the players who was instrumental in Fulham winning the league last season was centre forward Jay Stansfield. The former Exeter academy player scored an incredible 25 goals in 16 competitive under 18 games last season, and he also stepped up to play for Fulham’s development side and first team. While Stansfield has only played once this season (I’m not sure whether he is injured or not), that came in an EFL Trophy game against Cambridge United, if the second year scholar does step down to play against Spurs then he will be a real danger man. With his fantastic control, intelligent positioning and clinical finishing, the 17 year old was a standout performer in our opening day 4-0 defeat to Fulham at the start of the 2019/20 season. Another potentially potent Fulham forward that Spurs could come up against on Saturday morning, is Republic of Ireland under 17 international Oliver O’Neill who is a skilful right sided midfielder. Central midfielder Adrian Pajaziti is another talented player from this very talented Fulham team, and I was impressed with how he performed against us when we played them last season. 

Steve Wigley’s side have also signed a couple of players for the current season, such as Cypriot midfielder Georgios Okkas who is the son of Giannis Okkas, who is the assistant manager of the Cyprus men’s national team. While influential players such as Fabio Carvalho and Sylvester Jasper have now stepped up to Fulham’s under 23 side, there is still no doubting that the team that we will face on Saturday is a very talented one who will be very dangerous going forward, but who are also well structured too. Spurs did draw 1-1 away to Brighton last weekend, in what sounded like a fairly close and competitive game of football from reading the official match report on the Tottenham Hotspur website. Due to the current situation I will be unable to report on Saturday’s London derby at Hotspur Way however, I will be following live updates from Google, and I will also be tweeting updates of the game on my Twitter account. I would like to wish Matt Taylor’s side all the very best of luck for this league game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Matthew Craig, Muir, Hackett, Devine, Michael Craig, Mundle, John, Santiago, Scarlett.

Subs from: Solberg, Kyezu, Cassanova, Mathurin, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Skilful right sided midfielder Oliver O’Neill scored against us on the opening day of the 2019/20 under 18 Premier League season, and the player who can also play as a CM and CAM, could cause problems for Spurs on Saturday with his creativity and fine passing ability.