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

Spurs’ Under 18’s final competitive game of the 2020/21 season will see them face Leicester City at their new training ground in Seagrave, on Friday (the game starts at 13:00pm). Matt Taylor’s Spurs side who are currently in sixth place in the Premier League South, can still achieve a fourth place finish if they beat Leicester today. Spurs recorded a 1-1 draw against Leicester in the reverse league fixture earlier in the season, but they have beaten the club from the English Midlands away from home during the two previous seasons. Leicester City have picked up 15 points from their 23 league games this season, and currently occupy 12th spot in the league, going into their final competitive game of the season. Leicester’s top scorer at this level – Will Russ, will definitely be a player that the Spurs defence will be aware of going into this game, while Terell Pennant is a player who has impressed against us at this level in recent seasons. A good 2020/21 season for the Spurs Under 18 side comes to an end today. It will be interesting to see whether some of the players from the level below, will step up to play for Matt Taylor’s side against Leicester. Jamie Donley has already played a good number of games for Spurs at this level this season. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for today’s match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, Cesay, Dorrington, Muir (c), Hackett, Michael Craig, Cassanova, Mathurin, Mundle, Santiago, Scarlett.

Subs from: Maguire, Kyezu, Haysman, Torraj, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Leicester City forward Will Russ (18), who has scored seven Under 18 league goals from 16 appearances this season.

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

Spurs’ Under 18 side welcome Chelsea to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11:00am), for their penultimate league game of the season. Matt Taylor’s side can still finish in fourth place in the league (they are currently in fourth place). Spurs beat Norwich City 5-2 in the week, having come from two goals down to win that game. Seventh place Chelsea lost 6-1 when these sides met in the league in March in Cobham, so they will be looking to make up for that result on Saturday. Spurs were excellent during that game and Chelsea couldn’t deal with them going forwards, but Chelsea were missing their top scorer in the league this season on that day, Jude Soonsup-Bell, who could play against Spurs on Saturday. This will be a very competitive game of football, but it will be interesting to see whether Spurs start with Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine, as the Spurs Under 23 side have a game against Manchester City the day before. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for this London derby.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Muir, Dorrington, Paskotsi, Hackett, Michael Craig, Devine, Mathurin, Mundle, Santiago, Scarlett.

Subs from: Maguire, Cassanova, Matthew Craig, Davies, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 6-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Chelsea forward Jude Soonsup-Bell (17), who has scored 14 goals from 14 league appearances for Chelsea at Under 18 level this season. 

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

Having not won a competitive game in their last four, Matt Taylor’s Spurs Under 18 side welcome Norwich City to Hotspur Way on Tuesday, in their latest league game (the game starts at 12:00pm). Spurs recently lost 3-1 away to West Brom last weekend, whilst Norwich lost 3-2 at home to Reading. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Spurs beat Norwich 2-0, but with victories over league leaders Crystal Palace and also Arsenal this year for Norwich, returning to winning ways today won’t be easy. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Solberg, Muir, Dorrington, Paskotsi (c), Hackett, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Mathurin, Mundle, Santiago, Scarlett.

Subs from: Maguire, Torraj, Cassanova, Davies, Haysman.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Thimothee Lo-Tutala.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Norwich’s top scorer at this level this season – Thomas Dickson-Peters, who has scored nine league goals so far this season.

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

Yet to beat West Brom in their two competitive games against them this season at this level, Spurs’ under 18 side recently lost 5-0 to West Brom in the FA Youth Cup. Saturday mornings game (it starts at 11:30am at West Brom’s training ground) gives Matt Taylor’s side a chance to beat West Brom before the end of the season. West Brom are seven points behind Spurs in the league table having played two games more than them, while Spurs sit in fifth place in the table. An encouraging statistic for Spurs is that West Brom have only picked up eight league points from 11 home league fixtures this season. However, this will be a tough game for Spurs, especially as they have not beaten West Brom in a competitive game this season, but I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game. With the under 23 side playing Manchester City on Friday night, it will be interesting to see what the team is to face West Brom on Saturday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala (c), Muir, Dorrington, Paskotsi, Hackett, Michael Craig, Matthew Craig, Mathurin, Mundle, Santiago, Donley.

Subs from: Maguire, Kyezu, Torraj, Haysman.

Injured/unavailable: Dane Scarlett.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 0-5.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Reyes Cleary, who has scored an impressive seven goals from 14 Premier League South appearances this season.

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

Spurs’ under 18 side face Premier League South leaders Crystal Palace on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11am), at Hotspur Way. Crystal Palace have been excellent so far in the Premier League South, in what is their first ever season in the league. Crystal Palace’s top scorer in the league this season is David Omilabu (18) who has scored a very impressive 18 goals from 16 league appearances, so he will definitely be a player that the Spurs defenders will have to be aware of. Spurs’ top scorer this season – Dane Scarlett, will likely miss out on Saturday, because of injury. Scarlett scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture in south London, as Spurs won 5-1. Crystal Palace’s league form has been very good of late, so Spurs will likely find it difficult to do the double over them this season, especially without their top scorer Dane Scarlett. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for Saturday mornings game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, Cassanova, Muir, Paskotsi (c), Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Mathurin, Mundle, Santiago, Donley.

Subs from: Maguire, Dorrington, Hackett, Davies, Haysman.

Injured/unavailable: Dane Scarlett.

Doubtful: Thimothee Lo-Tutala.

Previous meeting: Spurs 5-1.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Centre-forward David Omilabu (18), who has scored 18 league goals from 16 appearances this season.

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

After exiting at the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup last Tuesday after losing 5-0 to West Brom, Spurs’ under 18 side return to league action this Tuesday. Matt Taylor’s side host West Ham United at Hotspur Way (the game starts at 12:00pm), and Spurs will be looking to do the double over West Ham at this level for the first time since the 2018/19 season, the season when Spurs finished as runners up in the league. Spurs started the 2020/21 Under 18 league season by winning 4-1 against West Ham in the reverse fixture last year, and Spurs currently sit relatively comfortably in fourth place in the league, while West Ham are in tenth place in the league. Always a very competitive fixture which has produced some big score lines and some great games in recent seasons, I’m sure that the game on Tuesday will be no different. Spurs will be eager to bounce back from the disappointment of last Tuesday, but they will be without top scorer Dane Scarlett who is injured, while captain and goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala could miss out after he went off injured against West Brom last week. West Ham are a talented team, and Spurs will have to watch out for top scorer Divin Mubama if he plays, while joint second top scorer Kai Corbett is another player who could cause Spurs problems. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for this behind closed doors fixture, and it would be great for the team to return to winning ways.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, Cassanova, Muir (c), Paskotsi, Hackett, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Mundle, Haysman, Santiago, Mathurin.

Subs from: Maguire, Kyezu, Davies, Devine.

Injured/unavailable: Dane Scarlett.

Doubtful: Thimothee Lo-Tutala.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Forward Divin Mubama (16), who has scored seven goals from 18 league appearances this season.

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

Spurs’ under 18 side have a very important FA Youth Cup fifth round tie against West Bromwich Albion to play on Tuesday night (the game starts at 19:00pm and will take place behind closed doors at Hotspur Way). West Brom overcame Cardiff City (they won that game 2-1) in the last round, to reach the fifth round of this seasons FA Youth Cup, while Matt Taylor’s Spurs side beat AFC Wimbledon 3-0, despite being taken to extra time by the home team on the day. West Brom sit in ninth place in the Under 18 Premier League South, while Spurs are situated in fourth place in the league. However, the only meeting between these two sides this season ended in an uneventful goalless draw at Hotspur Way, but West Brom’s away form this season has been decent. Spurs beat Southampton 3-0 in a league game during the weekend just gone, while West Brom beat Leicester City 4-1 at home. Spurs will need to be aware of West Brom forward Jovan Malcolm who has scored seven goals from 14 Under 18 league appearances for West Brom this season, and who has also stepped up to play for their development side on occasions. At the end of the day this is a cup game, and cup games in this great old youth competition can be unpredictable, as we have seen on numerous occasions over the last few seasons in the FA Youth Cup. Having missed the under 23’s league game against Leicester City last night, Spurs should have Dane Scarlett, Nile John and Alfie Devine available for Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup game, a game for which I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for. Let’s hope that this will be the year when Spurs win the FA Youth Cup for the fourth time in their history.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Cassanova, Mathurin, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: 0-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: West Brom forward Jovan Malcolm (18), who has scored seven goals from 14 Under 18 league appearances for West Brom this season. Malcolm has also stepped up to play for West Brom’s development side on five occasions this season.

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

Spurs’ under 18 side return to league action tomorrow (the game starts at 11:30am), when they face Southampton at their Staplewood Training Ground, in what is the first of five competitive matches this month for Spurs. Matt Taylor’s side defeated AFC Wimbledon 3-0 (the game went to extra time) in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup in their last competitive game, and with a game against West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night, it will be interesting to see if Spurs rest some players tomorrow. The Spurs under 23 side are in action on Monday night against Leicester City in the PL2, so that as well as the FA Youth Cup game on Tuesday could possibly mean that some players don’t feature for Spurs tomorrow. Tomorrow’s opponents Southampton haven’t won a Premier League South game since they beat Leicester City 8-2 in October of last year, and the side who are currently bottom of the Premier League South have only picked up seven points from 18 league games this season. Further encouragement for Spurs will be the fact that they have beaten Southampton on their last four visits to their Staplewood Training Ground. And earlier in the 2020/21 season and in the reverse fixture with Southampton, Spurs won 7-0 at Hotspur Way. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game, and it is one where despite Southampton’s bad recent form, it will still no doubt be a very tough game.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Cesay, Kyezu, Davies, Haysman.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 7-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: Southampton forward Sam Bellis (18), who has scored five goals for Southampton’s under 18 side from 11 league appearances this season.

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: (match report)

Spurs’ under 18 side traveled to Wimbledon’s Plough Lane ground on Wednesday evening, for a fourth round FA Youth Cup tie. Matt Taylor’s Spurs side were frustrated by AFC Wimbledon’s strong defence for large parts of the match, and while Wimbledon came really close to scoring in the first half of extra time, a strong showing from Spurs in extra time saw them score three (Jamie Donley scored two and Romaine Mundle got one) goals to set up a home tie against West Brom in the next round of the competition. Spurs’s starting team (4-2-3-1) saw captain Thimothee Lo-Tutala start in goal, while a back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir and Jeremy Kyezu started in front of him. Michael Craig and Nile John teamed up in central midfield, while Roshaun Mathurin and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett started up front for Spurs. Wimbledon got the game underway and the first effort of the game came from the hosts, as Quaine Bartley’s shot across goal from down the right side of the Spurs box was comfortably gathered by Lo-Tutala. Kwaku Frimpong then saw his effort from range go wide of the Spurs goal as Wimbledon’s strong defence limited Spurs’ chances during the early parts of the game. After Michael Craig was shown a yellow card for a challenge Wimbledon’s Dylan Adjei-Hersey had an effort on goal deflected behind for a corner. The same players delivery from the following corner was headed just over by Isaac Ogundere, before Romaine Mundle’s low effort from distance at the other end of the pitch went wide.

After Devine passed the ball to Dane Scarlett inside the Wimbledon box, the Spurs strikers first time effort across goal was picked up by a Wimbledon who cleared the ball. This was a good spell in the game for Spurs and a couple of moments later and after receiving Mundle’s pass inside the Wimbledon box, Roshaun Mathurin had a shot saved by Matt Cox, before Scarlett’s attempted chipped effort of the Wimbledon goalkeeper from distance went over his crossbar. After Matthew Craig’s clearance of Obed Yeboah’s cross came to Adbi Ali, the Wimbledon players effort on the half volley sailed over Lo-Tutala’s goal, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and after Thimothee Lo-Tutala punched clear Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s free-kick, Matthew Craig blocked Troy Chiabi’s effort. The Spurs players appeals for a penalty after the ball appeared to strike Abdi Ali’s hand inside the Spurs box were waived away by the referee, before Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s effort from range was palmed away by Lo-Tutala, but only as far as Troy Chiabi who slotted home, but his goal was ruled out for offside. Matthew Craig then blocked Kwaku Frimprong’s effort from distance, before Dane Scarlett was shown a yellow card. Matthew Craig made an important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs box to get the ball away from him, before at the other end of the pitch Roshaun Mathurin came in from the right onto his left foot before forcing a save out of Matt Cox.

Matthew Craig blocked Adjei-Hersey’s effort before Spurs made two changes in quick succession, as Yago Santiago returned to action to replace Roshaun Mathurin, while Jamie Donley replaced Michael Craig as he took up the CAM role, with Devine dropping into central midfield. Devine was shown a yellow card for his reaction to a challenge on him from a Wimbledon player before Dane Scarlett nodded a header wide from inside the Wimbledon box. Adjei-Hersey hit his free-kick well over Lo-Tutala’s crossbar before Remi Onabanjo also hit an effort over, as the referee sounded his whistle for full-time of normal time shortly afterwards. Spurs made a change for the first half of extra time, as Jordan Hackett came on to replace Dane Scarlett. After the ball came to Alfie Devine on the edge of the Wimbledon box, the midfielders quickly taken effort was straight at Matt Cox who gathered the ball. Nile John then had an effort from range saved by the Wimbledon goalkeeper, before Ben Mason’s cross at the other end of the pitch came to Adjei-Hersey inside the Spurs box, and his headed effort was excellently tipped behind by Lo-Tutala to prevent Wimbledon from taking the lead. Dante Cassanova came on to replace Alfie Devine before Spurs took the lead in the 99th minute of the game through substitute Jamie Donley. Romaine Mundle’s fine first time cross into Donley just inside the Wimbledon box saw the centre-forward take a touch before firing the ball past Matt Cox and into the back of the net, to give Spurs the lead against the run of play, 1-0.

The second half of extra time saw John hit an effort wide from range before Lo-Tutala punched clear Isaac Olaniyan’s corner kick. After receiving Nile John’s pass the lively Yago Santiago showed great skill to twist and turn away from a couple of Wimbledon players inside the home teams box, before passing to Donley whose shot was blocked. Then a couple of moments later and after receiving another pass from John, Santiago squared the ball for Donley inside the Wimbledon box however, his effort went over the crossbar. Spurs were now in control of the game and after John curled an effort over the Wimbledon goal, Spurs doubled their lead through Romaine Mundle. Santiago’s pass to Donley resulted in the striker superbly picking out Mundle from out on the left down the right hand side of the Wimbledon box, and the second year scholar calmly finished past Matt Cox, 2-0. After running forward with the ball Santiago hit the ball over the Wimbledon crossbar, before Spurs scored their final goal of the game in the 121st minute of the match. A long ball forward was latched onto by Kallum Cesay who knocked the ball past the Wimbledon goalkeeper after he had came out of his box, Cesay then passed the ball to Donley who tapped the ball into the open goal, 3-0. The final score from Plough Lane – Spurs 3-0 AFC Wimbledon.

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Spurs captain and goalkeeper made one really great and important save in the first half of extra time when the score was 0-0, and that save from the 18 year old proved to be so important. The Paris born goalkeeper also commanded his box well throughout the match. 
  • Kallum Cesay: The right-back mostly stayed deep but he did get forward on occasions. Cesay did well to assist Jamie Donley for his second goal of the game.
  • Matthew Craig: The RCB blocked a number of shots and also kept good positioning I felt, in defensive areas. Craig made one really important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Marqes Muir: Calm and composed in defence, in my opinion Marqes Muir didn’t put a foot wrong as a left sided centre-half, as he put in a strong defensive performance.
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The left-back completed the whole of the match and like Kallum Cesay on the other side of the pitch, I thought that Kyezu often stayed deep. 
  • Michael Craig: Playing as a four alongside Nile John in the middle of the pitch, Michael Craig kept the ball moving in the central areas of the pitch.
  • Nile John: The exciting midfielder liked to take players on and he showed some really good skill on the ball during today’s match, and often looked to go on surging forward runs. It was a good performance from the player who has played up for the Spurs under 23 side lately.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: Starting out on the right flank, winger Roshaun Mathurin managed an effort on goal during his time on the pitch. Mathurin completed 69 minutes of the game.
  • Alfie Devine: In order to get on the ball more often CAM Alfie Devine had to drop deep to try and influence the game, and the former Wigan Athletic player made some nice forward passes, showed good skill as well as moving well off the ball during his time on the pitch. 
  • Romaine Mundle: A player who I felt got more involved in the game as it went on, winger Romaine Mundle registered an assist and a goal against Wimbledon. Mundle did well to find Donley with his cross before later finishing well from inside the Wimbledon penalty area later on to effectively win the game for Spurs.
  • Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward worked really hard and moved well of the ball but didn’t get much luck against the solid and well disciplined Wimbledon defence. 
  • Yago Santiago: The former Celta Vigo player influenced the game well after coming on in the second half and playing out on the left wing. Santiago took on defenders well and showed some good bursts of pace and skill on the ball.
  • Jamie Donley: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left-back came on in the first half of extra time.
  • Dante Cassanova: The late substitute filled in at right-back for the final stages of the game.

My man of the match: 16 year old under 16’s player Jamie Donley bolstered the Spurs attack after coming on in the second half of Wednesday’s match. The centre-forward who has represented both England and Northern Ireland at youth level really made a big difference to the match after being introduced in the 74th minute of time. Donley was excellent in extra time and a well taken goal to put Spurs ahead was followed by a fine pass to find Romaine Mundle inside the Wimbledon box for his goal, before later tapping home into an open goal to score his second of this game. Donley moved well off the ball too, and I was also impressed with his first touch. He reminded me a bit of Troy Parrott at the same age.

AFC Wimbledon: Cox, Mason, Onabanjo (Bangura 108), Frimpong, Ogundere (c), Sutcliffe, Adjei-Hersey, Ali (Lock 103), Yeboah (Sasu 55), Bartley (Olaniyan 66), Chiabi. Substitutes (not used): Lahan, Jones, Campbell.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Kyezu, Michael Craig (Donley 74), Matthew Craig, Muir, Mathurin (Santiago 69), John, Scarlett (Hackett 91), Devine (Cassanova 99), Mundle. Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Dorrington.

Spurs under 18’s versus AFC Wimbledon: (match preview)

Spurs’ under 18 side return to FA Youth Cup action on Wednesday evening when they take on AFC Wimbledon in the fourth round of this seasons competition, at Plough Lane (the game is being shown live on AFC Wimbledon’s YouTube channel). Matt Taylor’s team beat Chelsea 6-1 in their last competitive game and that was back on the sixth of March. Wimbledon overcame category one Academy side Burnley in the third round of this seasons FA Youth Cup, while Spurs beat Newport County 6-2 in the third round despite going two goals behind. While I can’t say I know very much about Wimbledon’s under 18 side because of the fact that they play in a different league to us, the fact that they managed to beat a category one Academy side in the last round of the competition does most certainly mean that Spurs cannot underestimate their opponents. Obviously there won’t be any fans inside Plough Lane on Wednesday evening, but playing at a stadium will be a great experience for both sets of players. Spurs will be without centre-half Maksim Paskotši on Wednesday as he is away with the Estonian senior national team, and they are playing Sweden in an international friendly on the same day. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck in this most prestigious of English youth competitions for Wednesday’s game, and I’m sure that it will be a very competitive game of football. 

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

Subs from: Hayton, Cesay, Kyezu, Cassanova, Davies, Robson, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: Maksim Paskotši (on international duty with Estonia).

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: Wimbledon’s Paris Lock, who came off the bench to score the winner for Wimbledon in their round tie against Burnley.