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

I remember very well the last time that our under 23’s played Manchester United in the Premier League 2, it was back in January 2018 when Wayne Burnett’s side were bottom of the league, and needed a win with not that many games remaining that season. Spurs came from a goal behind to beat Manchester United three – one that night at Old Trafford, now almost three years later the newly promoted club will be looking to record their third league win in a row, having impressively beaten Brighton and Everton in their last two matches. Sunday’s game which takes place at Leigh Sports Village (the game starts at 5pm and is being shown live on MUTV) will be another tough game for Spurs who suffered their first defeat of the season in the last game week, against Derby County. Manchester United have a fantastic academy and they have a very good under 23 squad, with players such as Uruguayan winger and recent signing Facundo Pellistri, striker Joe Hugill, midfielder Arnau Puigmal (he has three league goals to his name this season), and right back Ethan Laird, Spurs will have to be at a very good level to overcome this Manchester United team, but then again you could say this for every game in this highly competitive division. Alfie Devine made his competitive debut (he scored our only goal of the game) for our under 23’s in that that one – two loss to Derby County, but he played for our under 18’s on Saturday, so I would imagine that it is unlikely that he will feature again. I’m really looking forward to watching our under 23’s on late Sunday afternoon, and I will of course be writing an in-depth report of the game. I would also like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for the match.

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

Subs from: Austin, Omole, Mukendi, Pochettino, Bennett.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Former Sunderland schoolboy Joe Hugill (17 year old striker), who already has three Premier League 2 goals to his name this season despite only being a first year scholar.

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

After defeating Norwich City two – nil in their last Premier League South game before the international break, Matt Taylor’s Spurs under 18 side welcome Southampton to Hotspur Way on Saturday (the game starts at 11:30am) for their latest league game. Currently occupying sixth spot in the league table, Spurs have won four, drawn two and lost one of their opening seven league fixtures this season, while the visitors Southampton have picked up five points from their seven league games (they’ve accumulated two points from three away games). Spurs will be looking to record back to back wins again, and if they do so then they won’t be too far away from league leaders Crystal Palace. Last season Spurs beat Southampton two – nil at their Staplewood training ground, and six – one at Hotspur Way, in what was the final under 18 game before the season was curtailed. It will be interesting to see whether or not Alfie Devine plays on Saturday or whether he plays again for tar under 23’s, following his competitive debut for them against Derby County before the international break. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for this behind closed doors game.

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

Subs from: Solberg, Michael Craig, Haysman, Carrington, Mathurin.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 6-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch:  17 year old forward Sam Bellis, who has scored four goals from the five league games that he has played for Southampton’s under 18’s so far this season.

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

Our under 18’s return to Premier League South action when they take on Norwich City in county Norfolk this Saturday (the game starts at 11:30am). The match which takes place at Norwich’s Lotus training centre is Spurs’ last league game until after the international break. Matt Taylor’s side sit in seventh place in the league after six games, and having gone two games without a win they will be looking to return to winning ways against a Norwich side who have conceded 16 goals from just six games this season. Steve Weaver’s Norwich side have lost three league games in a row so they will also be looking to record a positive result on Saturday. Spurs will most likely be without 16 year old central midfielder Alfie Devine, who played the whole of Spurs’ under 23’s (his competitive debut for them) league game against Derby County earlier today, and he also scored our only goal of the game as we lost 2-1. Our under 18’s came very close to doing the double over Norwich in the league last season but for a 93rd minute Zach Dronfield equaliser for Norwich in our last visit to Norfolk. Tomorrow both teams will be looking to get points on the board in what should be another very interesting game, though sadly I will be unable to see it due to the current situation, I would however, like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the game.

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

Subs from: Solberg, Hackett, Torraj, Mathurin, Mundle

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

My one to watch: Norwich’s inform 18 year old forward Thomas Dickson-Peters, who has already scored seven under 18 league goals from four games so far this season. 

Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview)

Our under 23’s will play their first Premier League 2 game in over two weeks on Friday (the game starts at 12pm) when Wayne Burnett’s unbeaten side face Derby County at Hotspur Way. Always a tough team to play, Derby County have started this season well, and they currently sit at the top of the Premier League 2 division One table (they have played two games more than us). A good and well organised side who do play good attacking football, Derby have scored an impressive total of 16 goals from their opening seven league games of this season. I actually watched Derby’s under 23’s play Southampton in a league game recently, and they once again showed good organisation within the team, as well as moving the ball around well, and using the flanks to good effect. Two older players, Jordan Ibe (24) and Krystian Bielik (22) played in that game and the latter actually played Derby’s last under 23 game as well, so there could be a chance that he may again play against Spurs on Friday, as he continues his return from injury. While both of those players impressed in that game in what was a fine performance from the team, I was also very impressed with some of Derby’s younger players. 19 year old former Republic of Ireland under 18 international Louie Watson had a really fine and strong performance, operating in the hole as a number ten. The former West Ham academy player took up some really intelligent forward positions and he was always looking to pass the ball forward. The two Derby central defenders, Callum Minkley (20) and Harrison Solomon (18) had really strong games, and they were commanding in their defending.

19 year old right back Kornell MacDonald got forward well on a number of occasions and he scored a goal against Southampton in that game. And finally winger Morgan Whittaker (19) who had strong games against Spurs in both Premier League 2 encounters last season, is a very quick player who has an eye for goal, while 19 year old Derby centre forward Jack Stretton has seven goals from seven league games for Derby’s under 23’s so far this season. There is no doubting that this will be another tough game and one that will test them at both ends of the pitch, yet with quite a bit of experience in the Spurs side, with players such as Anthony Georgiou and George Marsh (the 21 year old returns from a three game suspension), I think that we’ve got a good chance of returning to winning ways. Spurs drew their last game at this level 0-0 away to Everton in what sounded like a very competitive game of under 23’s football. Spurs should be providing half-time and full-time score updates on their official Twitter account, while I will also be tweeting score updates as they come through online, as games continue to be played behind closed doors. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Ferguson, Okedina (c), Lyons-Foster, Lavinier, Marsh, Thorpe, Markanday, Richards, Georgiou, Etete.

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

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Louie Watson (19) operates primarily as a CAM and in the recent 3-2 Derby win over Southampton, he impressed me a lot. Scoring one goal from three league games this season, Watson dropped into some really good pockets of space in that Southampton game and he was always playing the game in front of him, and looking to play the ball forward at all times. He seems like a very technically gifted young  player who could cause Spurs problems tomorrow afternoon.

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.