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 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 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.

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 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 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 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.