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Preview: Manchester City v Manchester United – Premier League U18 2016/17

Manchester City Academy Stadium, Etihad Campus, Manchester

Premier League U18 2016/17

Saturday 17th September 2016, KO 12:00 [Live on MUTV]

Manchester United U18’s face Manchester City in the Premier League U18 Manchester derby on Saturday afternoon. United started the season with two defeats; 4-0 against Derby County and 2-1 against Liverpool. As the speculation surrounding last season continued, with United losing twelve consecutive matches in the league, which also resulted in the departure of Paul McGuinness, there were suggestions that the changes made had not worked. United then faced Everton, winning 5-1, their first victory of the season. The following week, the visit of Middlesbrough, a team undefeated in twelve matches at this level resulted in another 5-1 victory, which looked less of a fluke. Last weekend, United faced West Bromwich Albion, winning 5-3 meaning the young red devils had scored 15 goals, conceding five in their last three matches, which is some good form, especially considering the shambles of last season. It would seem that Warren Joyce’s U23 side is the problem area this season, but he has different problems than the U18’s last season.

This season, Manchester City have only played four matches, to United’s five, sitting a point behind them in fourth place, with United in second, a point behind leaders Newcastle United. Only United and Middlesbrough have played five matches at U18 level this season, so United’s position may change in the coming weeks with the other teams catching up, but if United continue to play like they have over the past three weeks, they should keep up with the chase to better last season’s position, which will not be all that hard to better. City, at this level, are known to be strong, at least they were last season, but they have some new members to their squad this season. Beating Liverpool 7-0 a few weeks ago shows how strong they can be. Liverpool beat United 2-1 the week before that devastating defeat, so it shows that football at this level can change considerably. Manchester City was crowned champions at this level last season, and with United lowly position last season, beating them will be something that will ensure the U18’s will be able to hold their heads high.

Since Nicky Butt took over the Academy, put his plans in to action, strengthened the squad at this level this season, also bringing in a new coach, Kieran McKenna, seem to have done well thus far. The season is a long one and United could falter at some point, so it does not mean that every problem has been sorted at this stage. Things have improved massively, United have a big squad, a competitive squad and a squad with a lot of talent. Angel Gomes is the player that has impressed a lot this season, scoring five goals, including a hat-trick against Everton. Indy Boonen is the second highest scorer with three goals, DJ Buffonge and Idris Kanu (trialist) are third with two goals a piece, then Aiden Barlow, Nishan Burkart, Tahith Chong and George Tanner are fourth with one goal each. United have scored 16 goals so far this season, conceding 11, which leave them in a positive ratio after their, so far, good start this season. Beating City will be the plan, and if the form from the past few weeks is still there, it could well happen.

Manchester United U18 Squad:

Manager: Kieran McKenna

Goalkeepers: Alex Fojticek, Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui, Max Johnstone

Defenders: Ro-Shaun Williams, Harry Spratt, Jake Barrett, Lee O’Connor, Luca Ercolani, Max Dunne, Tyrell Warren, Thomas Sang,

Midfielders: Aiden Barlow, Andre Gomes, Callum Whelan, DJ Buffonge, Callum Gribbin, Ethan Hamilton, Faustin Makela, Indy Boonen, Jake Kenyon, Zachary Dearnley

Forwards: George Tanner, Kayne Diedrick-Roberts, Josh Bohui, Nishan Burkart, Tahith Chong

Manchester City U18 Squad:

Manager: Lee Carsley

Goalkeepers: Arijanet Muric, Curtis Anderson

Defenders: Lewis Blackshaw, Joe Coveney, Edward Francis, Joel Latibeaudiere, Tyreke Wilson

Midfielders: Tom Dele-Bashiru, Phil Foden, Colin Rosler, Ian Carlo Poveda, Iker Pozo, Jadon Sancho, Matthew Smith

Forwards: Joe Hardy, Luke Bolton

Manchester United U18 Form:- WWWLL

West Bromwich Albion 5-3 W, Middlesbrough 5-1 W, Everton 5-1 W, Liverpool 2-1 L, Derby County 4-0 L

Manchester City U18 Form:- DWWD

Blackburn Rovers 1-1 D, Liverpool 7-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D

Manchester United U18 Top Scorers:

5 – Andre Gomes, 3 – Indy Boonen, 2 – DJ Buffonge, Idris Kanu (trialist), 1 – Aiden Barlow, Nishan Burkart, Tahith Chong, George Tanner

Manchester City U18 Top Scorers:

3 – Joe Hardy, Ian Carlo Poveda, 2 – Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Luke Bolton, Tom Dele-Bashiru

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United

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