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

Matt Taylor’s Spurs under 18 side will play their first league game of 2021 when they take on north London rivals Arsenal at their London Colney training ground on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11am). Spurs actually only lost two league games in the year 2020, and that means that they are still in with a good chance of winning this seasons Premier League South league (Spurs are currently two points off league leaders Crystal Palace). We beat Arsenal 2-0 at Hotspur Way in game week two of the season back in September, and that days opponents Arsenal have won four league games since that match, and they currently occupy seventh spot in the league, after picking up 16 points from nine matches. And Arsenal have the best home record in the league so far this season, so this will be another tough game for Spurs, who come into this match after recording a 6-2 win over Newport County in the third round of the FA Youth Cup earlier in the month. Arsenal have influential players who are eligible to play tomorrow, such as Charlie Patino, Marcelo Flores and forward Luke Plange who has scored four league goals from eight appearances so far this season. I believe that for Spurs defender Maksim Paskotši should be able to return to the team after suspension, following the red card that he picked up against West Brom last month. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for this north London derby. A win for Spurs could move them up to the top of the league table.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Cesay, Casanova, Robson, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Skilful central midfielder Charlie Patino, who has made eight appearances for Arsenal at this level this season.

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

After emphatically defeating Brighton 5-1 down on the south coast last Friday, Spurs’ under 23 side take on east London club West Ham United this Friday (the game starts at 16:00pm) at West Ham’s Rush Green Stadium. Still in with a good chance of winning the Premier League 2 Division One league, a win for Spurs over West Ham tomorrow would make it three league wins in a row for Wayne Burnett’s side. Dmitri Halajko’s West Ham side haven’t played a competitive game of football since the 14th of December, and while they have only played ten league games so far this season, West Ham have only picked up five points from those ten games, and they currently occupy bottom spot in the league standings. We faced tomorrow’s opposition in game week two of the 2020/21 season, and from following West Ham’s live blog it sounded like West Ham had quite a few good chances early on in the game, but Spurs did end up winning the game 3-0, thanks to goals from Harvey White, Rodel Richards and George Marsh. Some West Ham’s forwards that the Spurs players will have to be aware of tomorrow include prolific striker Ademipo Odubeko, 22 year old skilful winger Nathan Holland, forward thinking fullback Sam Caiger and forward Sean Adarkwa. This West Ham side is full of talented players, and while the results haven’t been going their way this season (they beat Manchester United 2-0 at home not too long ago), they’ll be really up for this London derby, as they return to playing competitive football.

A key player for our under 23 side in creative midfielder Harvey White left the club to join Portsmouth on loan until the end of the season, while Anthony Georgiou left the club on a permanent transfer to Cypriot side AEL Limassol, so obviously neither player will be involved in tomorrow’s game. It was great to see centre half Malachi Fagan-Walcott return to get some minutes against Brighton in our last game, after being out injured for a long while, so he could potentially play some part in tomorrow’s game, which will be another tough one for Spurs, but they do have the joint best away record in the league. While tomorrow’s game is being played behind closed doors, West Ham are doing a live blog of the game on their website. Finally, I would just like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Marsh, Lyons-Foster (c), Omole, Lavinier, Bowden, John, Pochettino, Thorpe, Markanday, Etete.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Fagan-Walcott, Roles, Pedder, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: Alfie Devine (suspended). 

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

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 (18) 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 earlier 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. Odubeko made his first team for West Ham in a recent FA Cup game against Stockport County.

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

Our under 23 side return to Premier League 2 action on Friday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm), when Spurs take on Brighton at the AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre, in Lancing. Spurs’ last Premier League 2 game saw them beat Liverpool 4-3 in a pulsating game of football, and Wayne Burnett’s side are only five points off league leaders and reigning champions Chelsea in the league table. Today’s hosts Brighton are one point behind Spurs in the league on 16 points, and we have actually never beaten them in the Premier League 2. A well structured side who play good football, we recorded a 1-1 draw with Brighton at Hotspur Way in our first league game of the season. Some Brighton players that the Spurs players will have to be aware of this evening include midfielder Teddy Jenks who has scored four goals from 12 league appearances this season, also summer signing from Wigan Athletic Jensen Weir is another player who has an eye for goal, while forward Stefan Vukoje is another player who is potent going forward. Spurs will be without captain Jubril Okedina and Jack Clarke who have both left the club this month to join Cambridge United and Stoke City respectively, however, Kazaiah Sterling has returned to Spurs following the end of his loan at Southend United, and I would imagine that he could well play some part in the game against Brighton. As with all games in this league, this will be a tough one. However, Spurs were in good form in 2020, on the whole, and they’ll be hoping to continue that into this year. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for today’s game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Marsh, Lyons-Foster, Omole, Lavinier, Bowden (c), White, Markanday, Devine, Bennett, Etete.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Skinner, Thorpe, Pochettino, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Former Wigan Athletic player Jensen Weir. The midfielder has scored four goals from 12 Premier League 2 appearances for Brighton this season.

Spurs under 18’s versus Newport County: (match preview)

Our under 18 side start 2021 by playing their first FA Youth Cup game of the season. A third round cup tie against Welsh side Newport County takes place on Tuesday at 1pm at Hotspur Way (behind closed doors), in England’s most prestigious youth cup competition. Last season Spurs were knocked out by a very talented Wigan Athletic side in the fourth round, a side which included Alfie Devine. However, this year Matt Taylor’s side who sit in second place in the Under 18 Premier League South, will be looking to do better as they look to build on finishing 2020 in such good form in the league. Newport County’s under 18 side play their league football in the EFL Youth Alliance south-west division, and they haven’t played a competitive game of league football since the fifth of December, 2020, when they beat Swindon Town by three goals to nil. Newport had to beat non-League side Brockenhurst FC (they won 3-2) to reach the third round of the FA Youth Cup, and this is the second season in a row that they have reached the third round of the competition (they lost 3-1 away to Blackburn Rovers at this stage last season). Newport do have a number of players who have joined them from category two academy sides, such as Harrison Bright (formerly of Cardiff City), Jack Karadogan (formerly of Swansea City) and Charlie Bullock (formerly of Bristol City). There is no doubting that this will be a tough game, despite the difference in leagues that the two sides play in. Newport will be really up for this, just like Matt Taylor’s Spurs side will be, but in a one off cup game anything can happen.

Usually these games are the first competitive ones that many of these under 18 players get to play in front of fans at a stadium, but due to the current situation this year will be very different, though it will still be a fantastic opportunity and experience for the Spurs under 18 side. Talented first year scholar Alfie Devine made headlines on Sunday when he became our first teams youngest ever scorer and player in a competitive game, by scoring against Marine in the third round of the FA Cup, as he played 45 minutes. Spurs will no doubt put out a very strong side against Newport County, but with our under 23 side playing Brighton later in the week, Devine could well be being saved for that game. However, I would imagine that top scorer Dane Scarlett will most likely play on Tuesday afternoon. This is a very big game for Spurs, and I would like to wish them all the very best of luck for the match. Here’s hoping that this talented side can become the first Spurs under 18 side to win the competition since 1990.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Maguire, Kyezu, Torraj, Carrington, Mathurin, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: Paskotši (suspended).

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 5-0.

My one to watch: Newport player and second year scholar Zack Maher. A midfielder by trade, Maher scored an important goal against Brockenhurst in the last round to help book Newport’s place in the third round of the cup.

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

After putting in a very good first half performance against Chelsea on Monday evening, before eventually losing by three goals to two, Spurs’ under 23 side can take confidence from that game going into Saturday’s Premier League 2 game against Liverpool (the game starts at 15:00pm) at the Liverpool Academy. Last season in our two Premier League two games against Liverpool, we managed to score eight goals against them (we won both games four-nil). Tomorrow’s hosts have made a decent start to the league season, and as both clubs prepare for their final competitive game of 2020, Liverpool occupy fifth spot in the league, while Spurs sit in tenth place on 14 points, two points behind Liverpool. Spurs have only won once away to Liverpool since the Premier League 2 was formed for the 2016/17 season, but they have been unlucky in a number of those games, all of which were very competitive and close games. Liverpool play good attacking football, which is played at a high intensity, and they have a team of very good players as well. This will be another demanding game of football for Wayne Burnett’s side, but I’m sure that it will be a very entertaining one (it is sadly not being shown on Liverpool TV), and I shall be tweeting score updates on my Twitter account. Finally, I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for their final match of 2020.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Omole, Lavinier, Marsh, White, Scarlett, Thorpe, Clarke, Etete.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Skinner, Pochettino, Pedder, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: Alfie Devine (suspended).

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Dilan Markanday.

Previous meeting: Spurs four-nil Liverpool. 

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Liverpool’s 18 year old forward Layton Stewart, who has already scored 13 goals from just nine appearances for their under 18 side this season (he is the leagues top scorer), but he is yet to find the net for Liverpool’s under 23 side in the Premier League 2.

Spurs under 18’s versus West Bromwich Albion: (match preview)

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).

Doubtful: N/A.

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.

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

After recording an impressive three-two win over a good Blackburn Rovers team the previous Monday, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 side will now be preparing to face the reigning champions of the Premier League 2 Division one, in London rivals Chelsea (the game takes place on Monday at Kingsmeadow, with the game starting at 7pm). Starting for Alan Myers’s Chelsea side on Monday is 38 year old goalkeeper Petr Cech who has decided to come out of retirement, after having last played a competitive game of football in the May of 2019. So the former Czech Republic international and Chelsea legend will definitely add quality and experience to a Chelsea side who sit in third place in the league table, and have won all four of their home league games this season. Spurs recorded a draw (two-two) away, and lost one-nil at home to Chelsea last season in the Premier League 2, with both games demanding a lot from the Spurs players against a high intensity and physical Chelsea team. Danny Drinkwater (30) and Ghana international Baba Rahman (26)  have played for Chelsea’s under 23 side already this season, so I’m sure that the Spurs players will be aware of their quality going into tomorrow’s game. Some of the Chelsea’s players to keep an eye on tomorrow (the game is being shown on Chelsea’s Fifth Stand app and official website) include attacking midfielder Thierno Ballo, former Tromso forward Bryan Fiabema who has four league goals this season and commanding centre half Sam McClelland. There is no doubting that this will be a very tough game for Wayne Burnett’s side, but after ending a three game run without a win last Monday, I reckon that tomorrow’s game will be quite a close and very competitive one. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Lavinier, Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Rose, Marsh, White, Pochettino, Devine, Clarke, Etete.

Subs from: De Bie, Omole, Thorpe, Pedder, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Dilan Markanday.

Previous meeting: Spurs nil-one Chelsea.

My score prediction: Spurs three-two Chelsea.

My one to watch: 17 year old Norwegian forward Bryan Fiabema, who has four Premier League 2 goals from seven appearances so far this season.

Spurs under 23’s versus Blackburn Rovers: (match preview)

Our under 23’s will be looking to end their four game run without a win when they travel up to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers on Monday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm), in a Premier League 2 fixture which is being played behind closed doors. Wayne Burnett’s side lost by five goals to one in their last league game against Leicester City, which was played at Hotspur Way last Monday. Billy Barr’s Blackburn Rovers side recorded a one-one draw with Everton in their last Premier League 2 game and they sit in fifth place in the league table, four points above 11th place Spurs. Always a difficult team to beat, Blackburn have only lost one league game this season and that came at home against Arsenal who they lost six-nil to back in early November. In this fixture last season Spurs lost by four goals to nil when they faced Blackburn at the Leyland County ground, a physical and fairly direct side who won’t allow you to enjoy too much time on the ball. Former Coleraine midfielder Brad Lyons (23) is a good and experienced player who does have an eye for goal, while Scottish centre forward Connor McBride (19) has scored six goals from eight appearance in the Premier League 2 this season. 23 year old forward Harrison Chapman is a tricky and skilful player who could also cause Spurs problems on Monday. This will be another very tough game for Spurs, and in our last two meetings with Blackburn we have lost four-nil and three-nil. While I am unable to attend Monday’s game I shall be tweeting live scored updates on my Twitter account. Finally I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for this game. A win for Spurs could lift them as high up as seventh in the league standings.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Lavinier, Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, Bowden, White, Clarke, Devine, Bennett, Etete.

Subs from: De Bie, Omole, Thorpe, Pochettino, Pedder.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Dilan Markanday.

Previous meeting: Spurs nil-four Blackburn Rovers.

My score prediction: Spurs three-one.

My one to watch: Billy Barr’s team’s top scorer in the league this season Connor McBride. The 19 year old who has experience playing senior football with Stenhousemuir in Scotland, has already scored six goals from eight Premier League 2 appearances this season.

Spurs under 18’s versus Crystal Palace: (match preview)

Newly promoted to Category one academy status, south London club Crystal Palace have started their first season in the Under 18 Premier League South really well. Currently occupying fourth place in the league table, Crystal Palace have picked up 18 points from just eight league games so far this season, and they are on the same points tally as us going in to Saturday mornings (the game starts at 11am) game at their training ground in Beckenham. I cannot say much about how Crystal Palace play at this level as I haven’t seen them play at this level, though both their under 18 and 23 teams have started the season really well. Last Saturday Spurs were denied their third league victory in a row because of a very late Leicester equaliser in that game at Hotspur Way. Schoolboy Jamie Donley made his competitive debut for Spurs’ under 18’s in that game as he played up front, and he also scored our only goal of the game. As our under 18’s top scorer this season Dane Scarlett travelled to Austria with out first team recently, and I do wonder whether or not Donley will get another start tomorrow. Although I will be unable to attend tomorrow’s game due to the current situation, I will be tweeting live score updates on my Twitter account. I wish the team all the very best of luck for the match, and will stay second in the league if we win against Crystal Palace.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Michael Craig, Mundle, Scarlett. 

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Crystal Palace’s 18 year old forward David Omilabu who has scored eight league goals from eight appearances so far this season.

Spurs under 18’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

After emphatically beating Southampton by seven goals to nil last Saturday, Matt Taylor’s Spurs under 18 side will be looking to make it three wins in a row when they host winless Leicester City at Hotspur Way tomorrow morning (the game starts at 11:30am). The club from the Midlands who sit at the bottom of the Under 18 Premier League South, haven’t registered a point this campaign, and they have conceded 36 league goals from their opening eight matches. However, Leicester have in recent years been difficult to beat, and with potent attacking players such as Kian Pennant and Terrell Pennant eligible to play tomorrow, Spurs will know that they will have to once again be very alert. Last season we beat Leicester four-three at their Belvoir Drive training ground and they were resilient that day however, tomorrow’s game will likely be a different kind of contest. Inform under 18’s striker Dane Scarlett became the youngest ever Spurs player to feature for them in a competitive game, when he came off the bench in our four-nil win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad on Thursday, so it will be interesting to see whether or not he goes into the under 23 side for their game against Leicester, or whether he remains with the under 18’s. I would like to wish Matt Taylor’s side all the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game, a win could lift them up to the top of the league table.

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

Subs from: Solberg, Cesay, Michael Craig, John, Mathurin.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 5-1.

My one to watch: Leicester forward Kian Pennant (16) who has scored three league goals from eight games so far this season.