(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.
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.