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 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.

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

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

After picking up four points from their opening two Premier League 2 games of the season, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 side will be going into Saturday’s North London Derby with Arsenal with good confidence in the squad (kick off is at 1pm). Always a highly competitive fixture, this game at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground (it is I believe being behind closed doors, so no spectators will be allowed in including myself), could see Arsenal make it four wins over Spurs at under 23 level in a row, should they win tomorrow. Spurs won one and drew one game from their opening two Premier League 2 matches of the season, while tomorrow’s rivals also won one and drew one of their opening two PL2 games of the season (they also beat Ipswich Town in the Checkatrade Trophy). Steve Bould’s Arsenal side have a fantastic squad of really talented young players who could make life difficult for Spurs on Saturday afternoon. 19 year old France under 20 international William Saliba who was signed from French side Saint-Étienne last summer, is a very highly thought of and talented central defender, who started Arsenal’s last under 23 game, so he could possibly start again tomorrow. Full Northern Ireland international Danny Ballard is another central defender, and he is a commanding one too, who has impressed against Spurs in the past at this level. Creative and highly skilful attacking midfielder Salah Oulad M’Hand (17) is an attacking player who has played in every game that the Arsenal development side have played in so far this season, and the young Dutchman is somebody who can and will take on and beat players. Also forwards George Lewis and Folarin Balogun are players who could cause Spurs’ defence some problems when the two sides meet. There is no doubting that this will be a very difficult game for Wayne Burnett’s side however, I know that Spurs have the quality to overcome Arsenal however, it does promise to be a fascinating game. I believe that Arsenal will be providing audio commentary for tomorrow’s game, also Spurs should be providing Twitter updates along with their match report on their official site. I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for this important league game.

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

Subs from: De Bie, Skinner, Pedder, Pochettino, Etete.

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

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Although there are so many Arsenal players that I could choose from, the one I’m going to choose for my one to watch section is clinical centre forward Folarin Balogun. The 19 year old is a very quick player whose movement off the ball and reading of the game makes him a very difficult player to defend against. Balogun scored 10 goals from 15 Premier League 2 appearances last season, so if he does play tomorrow then he is a player that the young Spurs defenders will have to be aware of.

Spurs under 18’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)


(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

After making it two wins from their two opening games of the Under 18 Premier League South season following an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal last Saturday, Matt Taylor’s Spurs side will be looking to continue their perfect start to the season when they take on Brighton this Saturday (kick off is at 11:30am). Spurs striker Dane Scarlett (16) seems to have been greatly impressing so far this season, after being directly involved in five goals from our opening two games of the campaign. And this talented group of young Spurs players could have a really good chance of mounting a title challenge this campaign in my opinion, along with the likes of Chelsea and Fulham. This weekends opponents Brighton who are coached by Mark Beard, finished last season in sixth place in the Under 18 Premier League South with 24 points, and from our two league meetings with them we won one and lost one. A well structured side who do play good football but can also be direct in their play on occasions, Brighton gave us two difficult games last season. The first one which was played at Hotspur Way saw them beat us 3-2 in a game in which they were the better team, while the reverse fixture at the American Express Elite Performance Centre saw us narrowly win that game 1-0. Brighton pressed our players really well in both contests and they also created a lot of chances in both of those league games. Having seemingly signed quite a few players from other countries for the start of this season, such as the likes of Samy Chouchane, Casper Nilsson, Andy Moran and Leigh Kavanagh, this game would be interesting to see in regards to seeing several new players for Brighton. Mark Beard’s side drew their opening league game of the new season 1-1 with a talented Chelsea team, while they followed that up by losing 3-1 at home to Fulham last weekend. Some of the potential Brighton players who could potentially cause Spurs problems on Saturday include hardworking and versatile Irish forward Matt Everitt, impressive centre half Antef Tsoungui and tricky right winger Jack Leahy. 

Brighton have produced some really promising young players during recent years such as Aaron Connolly and Ben White, and they are always a difficult team to play against at under 18 level. Spurs, who defeated north London rivals Arsenal last Saturday will surely be going into this game with their confidence high, and they’ll fancy their chances of making it three wins in a row. Lining up against Arsenal with the same side that beat West Ham in game week one, it was fantastic to see midfielder Michael Craig come off the bench to return from injury after over a year out. I did write to Brighton to see if it was at all possible for me to report on our game against them on Saturday however, they said that no spectators could attend as it will be played behind closed doors. Finally, I would just like to wish Matt Taylor’s side all the very best of luck for this important game. 

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

Subs from: Solberg, Cassanova, Michael Craig, Mathurin, Whittaker,

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Brighton’s hardworking forward Matt Everitt (second year scholar) who was a player who had a good game when we played Brighton away last season. A versatile player, the 17 year old Irishman can play as a nine, ten or out wide.

Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

After drawing their PL2 season opener (1-1) against a tough Brighton side last Saturday, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 team will be looking to go one better when they take on London rivals West Ham United on Friday at Hotspur Way (kick off is at 12pm). Spurs fielded a strong side against Brighton in game week one, of which included the likes of Brandon Austin, Jack Roles, Jack Clarke, Dennis Cirkin and Harvey White. However, Brighton are a very tough side who are difficult to break down and in the end Spurs drew 1-1, with Kazaiah Sterling scoring our goal, while West Ham who are managed by Dmitri Halajko lost 1-0 away to reigning PL2 Division One champions Chelsea. A well structured side, last seasons PL2 Division Two champions impressed greatly last campaign as they bounced back to the top division in English under 23 football at the first time of asking. Some of you may remember talented Portuguese forward Xande Silva (23) scoring a hat-trick against our under 23’s in our opening game of the 2018/19 season, and the goal scoring forward is a still a part of West Ham’s development side. Another potential danger man for Spurs on Friday is 17 year old centre forward and Irish youth international Ademipo Odubeko who scored a brace against Southend United for West Ham’s development side in the EFL Trophy in their first game of the season. However, the clinical centre forward who has great off the ball movement, didn’t feature in the league game against Chelsea on Monday, so he could possibly be injured. Two other players who are under 23 that didn’t feature in that Chelsea game who could possibly feature in Friday’s London Derby is skilful goal scoring winger Nathan Holland (22), and winger and England youth international Amadou Diallo. So West Ham have a lot of attacking talents at this level that could cause Spurs problems when the two sides meet. However, from a defensive point of view West Ham have talented Portuguese central defender Gonçalo Cardoso (19) whose first team experience with Boavista will definitely be useful for them at this level. 

This will be another very difficult and highly competitive game for Wayne Burnett’s side and with 18 year olds Dennis Cirkin and Harvey White pictured training earlier today (Wednesday) along with Jack Clarke ahead of the first teams UEFA Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday, we could be without them for Friday’s PL2 game. Once again, sadly I will not be able to attend and report on our under 23’s upcoming game against West Ham on Friday due to the current situation however, you can likely follow live updates on the official Spurs Twitter account, and there will also be a report on the official site after the game. In case you missed it the trialist who featured during pre-season (Keenan Ferguson) for our under 23’s, has signed a contract until the end of this season. The right back (20) formerly of Sheffield United played the whole of our under 23’s PL2 season opener against Brighton last Saturday, at right back. I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for Friday’s London Derby against West Ham United.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Ferguson, Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Georgiou, Marsh (c), Skinner, Pochettino, Markanday, Tracey, Sterling.

Subs from: De Bie, Muir, Pedder, Bennett, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1. 

My one to watch:  A player with good pace and skill, as well as being a really clinical finisher, Republic of Ireland youth international and striker Ademipo Odubeko (17) could be West Ham’s main danger man on Friday if he does play. The former Manchester United schoolboy scored twice for West Ham’s development side in the EFL Trophy against Southend United this season, and for me I have been impressed with his fine movement off the ball whenever I have seen him play against Spurs. He will definitely be a player to watch out for if he is involved in Friday’s under 23 game.    

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

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

After recording a hugely impressive 4-1 win over London rivals West Ham United on the opening day of the Under 18 Premier League South season, Matt Taylor’s Spurs side must now prepare to take on North London rivals Arsenal, at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning (kick off is at 11am). Once again spectators and people reporting on games are not being allowed entry to this game due to the current situation, so I won’t be able to report on this North London Derby however, you can (I will be doing this) follow live updates from Google simply by typing in Tottenham under 18’s. As for the match itself, both teams recorded victories on the opening day of the league season with Spurs beating West Ham comprehensively away, while Ken Gillard’s Arsenal side beat Southampton 4-2 at home. Always a highly competitive fixture, meetings between the two sides in recent seasons have seen very varied results (the last meeting between the two sides finished 2-2), and that reflects the unpredictability and competitiveness of North London Derby’s. Ken Gillard’s Arsenal finished in eighth place in the Under 18 Premier League South last season after picking up 17 points from 16 league games, while Matt Taylor’s Spurs finished nine points above them in fourth place. An exciting and attacking and forward thinking side, Arsenal are a team that move the ball around quickly and with real purpose in the final third as they look to break down the oppositions defence. Despite playing Arsenal’s developments sides first two competitive games of this season, creative and highly skilful attacking midfielder Salah Oulad M’Hand (17) will definitely be a player to watch out for if he turns out for Arsenal’s under 18’s on Saturday. Another attack minded player who has the potential to cause Spurs’ defence problems on Saturday morning is creative England youth international and central midfielder Charlie Patino (16). 

While centre forward Luke Plange (17) who scored a goal in Arsenal’s opening day win over Southampton, also scored three under 18 league goals in ten appearances for Arsenal last season, so he could well lead the line for Ken Gillard’s side on Saturday. From a defensive point of view Republic of Ireland under 19 international Mazeed Ogungbo (17) will make life difficult for the Spurs forwards with his commanding defending. This will be I imagine a very difficult, competitive and demanding game of football on Saturday morning in Enfield however, if Spurs lineup with the likes of Alfie Devine and Dane Scarlett (he scored two and assisted two last Saturday) which I imagine that they will, then I think that Spurs have a good chance of making it two wins from two in the league. Absent from last weekend’s win over West Ham was attacking midfielder Max Robson (17), he also missed our under 18’s last friendly of pre-season, so if Robson is missing for Saturday’s North London Derby then that will be a shame for Spurs, as he offers so much from an attacking point of view. Finally, I would just like to wish our under 18’s all the very best of luck for this weekend’s important league game against North London rivals Arsenal. 

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

Subs from: Solberg, Davies, Cassanova, Mundle, Santiago.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Michael Craig.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Arsenal’s 17 year old central defender Mazeed Ogungbo (17) who can also fill in at fullback, a position which he played in against Southampton last Saturday. A commanding defender who also reads the game well, I was really impressed by Ogungbo when I saw him play for the Republic of Ireland’s under 19 side last year.

Spurs under 23’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Our under 23 side will play their first competitive game of football since the second of March, when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Hotspur Way in their opening PL2 game of the season on Saturday afternoon (kick off is at 1pm). Just like our under 18’s who get their league season underway on the same day, Wayne Burnett’s side will be eager to return to playing competitive football however, Spurs have been handed a difficult opening day fixture in Brighton. After a good pre-season which saw them unbeaten in four of their five friendly games, Spurs’ opponents on the other hand have already played their first competitive game of the season. As Simon Rusk’s Brighton side lost 3-2 to League Two side Leyton Orient on Tuesday, after initially coming back after being two goals down. A side that Spurs have never beaten in the PL2 in four attempts (we have drawn one and lost three of those meetings) Brighton did the double over us last season. They beat us 2-1 at Stevenage Borough’s Lamex Stadium, and 4-1 at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, those two games were difficult ones last season. Quite a physical side who do play good football but can also be direct in their play (Brighton’s physical centre forward Bojan Radulovic caused us numerous problems in our 4-1 defeat last season), Brighton finished in third place in the PL2 Division 1 last season, seven points behind champions Chelsea. Simon Rusk’s side were the joint top scorers in the division last season with 36 league goals from 18 games. Brighton have a number of players who could cause problems for Spurs on Saturday, one of those is Sweden youth international and left winger Peter Gwargis, who scored seven goals and registered four assists from 17 PL2 games last season. Another potent Brighton forward is Northern Irishman Ben Wilson (18) who scored a brace against Leyton Orient earlier in the week. Like Wilson, physical Swiss forward Lorent Tolaj could also cause Spurs problems at the back on Saturday. 

36 year old former Wales international turned Brighton under 23’s player-coach Andrew Crofts would provide Brighton with invaluable experience in the midfield, if he plays. While talented teenager and central midfielder Jensen Weir (recently signed from Wigan Athletic) was a player who had a great game when he played against our under 18’s in the FA Youth Cup last season, so he could also be a player to watch out for. However, Brighton just have a very talented squad of players and for Spurs to get a victory on Saturday they will have to be on top form. Another Brighton player who I didn’t mention but could even feature on Saturday is 21 year old Republic of Ireland international and tireless central midfielder Jayson Molumby. Wayne Burnett’s side on the other hand could be boosted by the presence of experienced young players such as Anthony Georgiou, Kazaiah Sterling and George Marsh for the game against Brighton, with all three players having featured prominently for Spurs’ under 23’s in pre-season. A difficult game it will be for the young Spurs lads on Saturday afternoon in their opening game of the 2020/21 season however, I wish them all the very best of luck for this match. Due to the current situation I will be unable to report on our game against Brighton due to it being behind closed doors however, Spurs will publish a match report on their official site during the weekend.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Okedina, Marsh (c), Lyons-Foster, Georgiou, Bowden, John, Tracey, Roles, Markanday, Sterling.

Subs from: De Bie, Lusala, Skinner, Richards, Etete. 

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Brighton’s physical and clinical centre forward Lorent Tolaj was excellent for their under 18’s last season scoring eight goals from 11 Premier League South appearances. The Switzerland under 19 international starred in our under 18’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton at Hotspur Way last season with his strong running, physicality and his clinical finishing, so he is my player to watch on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs under 18’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our under 18’s first competitive game of football since late February take place this Saturday, when Matt Taylor’s side take on London rivals West Ham United at Little Heath Sports Centre (kick off is at 11am). A match which they will have been looking forward to since the Premier League South Fixtures were released earlier this week, this league match will be one that our under 18’s will be really hoping to win, to the start the season well. After a good season last campaign in the Premier League South in which Taylor’s side finished in fourth place in the league, the young Lilywhites will be hoping to build on that fourth place finish this season. This weekends game against West Ham will be a tough one, as the East London club did the double over us in the league last season, beating us 3-2 at Hotspur Way and 3-1 in East London. A talented and attacking side, Kevin Keen’s team finished in third position in the league last season after having played 17 games. Keen’s side has some exciting and talented players who are eligible to play on Saturday, one of those players is 17 year old centre forward and Irish youth international Ademipo Odubeko who scored a brace against Southend United in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night. A clinical finisher in front of goal, it is worth noting that Odubeko could well play for West Ham’s under 23’s who play against Chelsea in the PL2 two days after the under 18 game on Saturday, but he is definitely a player to watch out for if he is involved. Left winger and England youth international Amadou Diallo is another potent attacking player, but the skilful second year scholar featured prominently for West Ham’s under 23’s last season and might not feature on Saturday against Spurs. However, some of our opponents players who are more likely to feature include right winger Kai Corbett who scored four goals in 11 Premier League South games for West Ham last season.

Two more players who could well be involved for the home side on Saturday are centre backs Jamal Baptiste (first year scholar) and Michael Forbes (first year scholar). Baptiste actually made seven appearances for West Ham’s under 23’s last season while still a schoolboy, while Forbes was recently signed from Northern Irish side Dungannon Swifts. There is no doubting that this will be a tough and highly competitive first game of the season for Spurs, but it will be really interesting to see how they line up and also how many first years scholars they include in their squad. I would like to wish our under 18’s all the very best of luck for Saturdays game which is being played behind closed doors due to the current situation. Hence I will be unable to report on the game however, there will be a match report published on the official Tottenham Hotspur site during the weekend.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala, Cesay, Matthew Craig, Muir (c), Hackett, Cassanova, Devine, Mathurin, Robson, Whittaker, Scarlett. 

Subs from: Solberg, Kyezu, Mundle, Santiago, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Michael Craig.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: A player with good pace and skill, as well as being a really clinical finisher, Republic of Ireland youth international and striker Ademipo Odubeko (17) could be West Ham’s main danger man on Saturday if he does play. The former Manchester United schoolboy scored in our last meeting with West Ham last February, and for me he really stood out in that game with his fine movement off the ball. He will definitely be a player to watch out for if he is involved in Saturday mornings game.