U18 Preview: Aston Villa vs Saints


Southampton’s youngsters travel to Aston Villa in the Under-18 Premier League as they look to secure consecutive league victories.

Aston Villa vs Saints

Under-18 Premier League

Bodymoor Heath Training Ground

Friday 4 February, 11am GMT

The hosts go in search of their first league victory since November, where they edged out West Brom at Bodymoor.

Having claimed just 11 points from 11 games, victory over Saints could provide a much needed boost for Sean Verity’s side.

For Saints, victory on the road could see them top the Under-18 Premier League table.

Saints’ youngsters fought back after their disappointing loss to Spurs with an impressive 4-3 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion last time out.

It was an action-packed affair when these two sides met in the reverse fixture at Staplewood back in November.

Goals from Tyler Dibling and Dominic Ballard saw Saints with a two goal advantage after just 18 minutes of play before Chisom Afoka pulled one back for the visitors.

Saints soon restored their two goal advantage through Ryan Finnigan but Edward Rowe reduced the deficit just moments later.

There was still time for one more goal before half time though as Luke Pearce netted to give Saints a 4-2 lead heading into the break.

Villa came out fighting in the second, with Chisom Afoka netting his second of the afternoon to reduce the gap once more.

It was too little too late for the visitors though as Dibling and Finnigan shortly found themselves on the scoresheet for a second time to ensure a confident 6-3 victory.


"We're really looking forward to the game," admitted Individual Coach Mikey Harris. "We've had a little bit of a break since our last game against Brighton which was a really, really tough one but one where we got a really positive result.

"We had a really entertaining game against Villa at home earlier on in the season and we know it's going to be a really difficult game but one we're looking forward to.

"I think there's a lot of talented attacking players in both groups so we've got to do our best to stop their threats and try and exploit our strengths as much as we can."