Matt Taylor’s Spurs under 18 side take on a team (the game starts at 11:30am on Saturday at Hotspur Way) who they haven’t faced for a number of years at this level, in West Brom, a side who they last played back in the 2015/16 season. West Brom had been playing in the Under 18 Premier League North until the start of this season when they joined the southern division, and the club from the English Midlands have so far picked eight points from nine league games this season. Peter Gilbert’s side have only won one of their three league away games this season, something which will come as an encouragement to Spurs who have won three and drawn two of their opening five home league games this season. The last meeting between these sides saw a lot of goals, as Spurs eventually won four-three on the day. Unbeaten in five league games at this level, third place Spurs are only one point away from league leaders Fulham, albeit Spurs have played a game more than the west London club. Matt Taylor’s side recorded a really impressive five-one win over Crystal Palace in their last league game, while West Brom beat Southampton three-one. The inform Dane Scarlett scored another hat-trick in that game against Crystal Palace, but after making his competitive debut for our under 23’s last Monday against Chelsea (Dane scored in that game), I do wonder whether he will travel up to Liverpool with the under 23 squad for their away game against Liverpool, which is also on Saturday. If that is the case then it could mean that under 16’s player Jamie Donley could step up once again to play for our under 18 side (he scored in the last game that he played for them), or possibly versatile forward Tarrelle Whittaker could play as the lone striker.
I can’t really comment on what kind of team West Brom’s under 18 side are e.g. their style of play, etc. This is because I haven’t seen their current group of players play however, every game in this division is a challenging and demanding one. Saturday mornings game will be played behind closed doors unfortunately, but I will be providing live score updates of the game on my Twitter account. As I previously mentioned, 16 year old forward Dane Scarlett made his competitive under 23 debut on Monday against Chelsea, but so did under 18 regular Romaine Mundle (he has been directly involved in five of our under 18’s goals so far this season) as he came on as a substitute late on in the game, which was great to see. I would finally like to wish the Spurs under 18 side all the very best of luck for Saturday’s game, which is the final competitive one that they will play in 2020.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Muir, Paskotši, Hackett, Matthew Craig, John, Whittaker, Mundle, Santiago, Donley.
Subs from: Hayton, Kyezu, Michael Craig, Carrington, Mathurin.
Injured/unavailable: Alfie Devine (suspended).
Previous meeting: Spurs four-three West Brom.
My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.
My one to watch: 18 year old forward Jovan Malcolm, who has scored five goals from eight league appearances for West Brom’s under 18 side this season. Malcolm has also made two Premier League 2 appearances for West Brom’s under 23 side this season.