Southampton’s B team are back in knockout football action as they host Sheffield United in the Premier League Cup last 16 on Friday afternoon.
Saints vs Sheffield United
Premier League Cup last 16
Friday 3rd February, 1pm GMT
Saints will step out in the Premier League Cup last 16 for the first time in five years since they last progressed from the group stages in the 2017/18 season.
Dave Horseman's side advanced as comfortable Group F winners, earning themselves a home tie against the runners-up from Group E.
Enforced changes to the line-up are to be expected as Lewis Payne, Jack Turner, and Thierry Small sealed loan moves on transfer deadline day, with Luke Pearce also heading out for senior experience the day before.
In their last match, a Dom Ballard brace helped the young Saints to a point in a 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough in the league.
Sheffield United are a Category 2 academy and ply their trade in the Premier League Professional Development League, where they sit top of the table in the Northern division.
They advanced as runners-up of Group E as fellow Category 2 side Bristol City won the group, knocking out two Category 1 sides in Crystal Palace and Newcastle.
The young Blades are currently on a five-game unbeaten streak as their early season form has seemingly continued into the new year.
This will be the first time that the two sides have played each other at youth level.
In Saints' last encounter with a lower division side in the group stages, a hat-trick from Sam Bellis, a brace for Will Merry, and goals for Luke Pearce and Jay Robinson earned a 7-1 win over Colchester United.
Tickets can be purchased online and are priced as follows:
With the last 16 tie on the horizon, Head Coach Dave Horseman said:
"We have a really young group this year, even more so with the recent changes with some of the lads heading out on loan, so this will be a good challenge for us.
"That's the beauty of this job though that the next generation can step up and fit in across the age groups.
"These are the closest experiences the players will get to a must-win game where the pressures count and that's why games like this are so important for us."