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Manchester United U18’s could win the U18 Premier League North by beating Manchester City today!

Manchester United’s U18’s could win the U18 Premier League today if they beat or even draw with Manchester City at the Leigh Sports Village. The match will kick off at noon (BST) and will be shown live on MUTV and if you do not subscribe to the channel, the club will be broadcasting the match from 11:45 am on YouTube. Kieran McKenna’s U18 side currently top the U18 Premier League table with 45 points after 20 matches. Liverpool sits in second place on 35 points after 19 matches and cannot win the league.

The only team able to catch United is Manchester City, who have played just 18 games. There are 22 matches to play in the league and City could still win 12 points, meaning they could match United’s 45 points but United will need to lose their remaining two matches – City and Liverpool. The chances for City are slim but still possible. A draw would see United rise to 46 points and therefore crowned the U18 Premier League North champions. There would be a final match against the U18 Premier League North champions which looks set to be Chelsea again this season.

United’s U18’s have done well this season, finishing second to Manchester City last season, then finishing fourth in Group One in the second league stage, which resulted in a further seven matches being played – United earning eight points in total. The league format has changed this season, scrapping the seven extra matches with just one match; the winner of the U18 Premier League North against the winner of the U18 Premier League South.

McKenna’s U18 side scored 62 goals in the 20 matches played so far this season, conceding 30 goals. United have won 14 matches, drawn three and lost three. Mason Greenwood has scored the most goals in the U18 Premier League North this season, having amassed 16 goals so far, assisting a further six in the league, him being involved in 22 goals this season. Nishan Burkart has scored ten goals, assisting a further 10, meaning he has played a part in 20 goals in the league this season. Aiden Barlow has scored six goals, assisting seven times, having involvement in 13 goals.

It shows the changes that have been made at U18 level ahead of this season. During the 2015/16 season, this side lost twelve consecutive matches in the U18 Premier League which resulted in Paul McGuinness leaving the club. Last season, the emergence of Angel Gomes, amongst others, saw this United side claw back the dire season they had previously, falling short to Manchester City. This season, despite Gomes still being eligible to play at this level, he has been promoted to U23 level, currently on the sidelines through injury. Tahith Chong is another who has been promoted.

Nicky Butt has done well to make the changes he has made in the short time since he became the head of the clubs Academy. Going from the team which finished 11th in the north division in the 2015/16 season, to the second-placed team the following season shows the progress the club and the players have made. Having the likes of Gomes, Chong, Burkart, Barlow, and Greenwood show how much talent remains at the club at this present time with more players looking to make a name for themselves as we head into the 2018/19 season.

If United end up winning the U18 Premier League North, whether they beat the Southern champions, which is destined to be Chelsea or not, will not matter. The progress of the clubs Academy, which this season seems to be at the expense of City, is a sign of something good happening at this level for Manchester United. Long may that continue.

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