Southampton’s youngsters will return to Staplewood Campus this weekend, with the visit of Aston Villa in the Under-18s Premier League.
Saints vs Aston Villa
Under-18 Premier League
Saturday 20th March, 1pm GMT
It was a difficult outing for Saints’ youngsters last week, with a 6-0 defeat at title-chasing Fulham.
Idris Odutayo, Kieron Bowie and a double each for Jay Stansfield and Michael Olakigbe helped the Cottagers to three points on a sorry morning for Saints.
But Saturday proves another chance for the Under-18s to respond, facing 5th placed Villa who are without a win in their last three.
Last time out Saturday’s visitors drew 2-2 with West Ham, denied only by a Pual Appiah own goal during the final ten minutes in the Hammers’ favour.
A win for Villa would see them leapfrog Tottenham into the top four if results go their way, whilst three points for Saints would see them draw level on points with 12th placed Leicester City.
The last match-up between these two sides certainly bore the hallmarks of being a contender for match of the season.
Saints took an early first-half lead through Kazeem Olaigbe at Bodymoor Heath Training ground before Villa’s Brad Young levelled a minute shy of the interval.
The visitors thought they had won in after two quick-fire goals from Ramello Mitchell and Sam Bellis three minutes apart put them 3-1 up with just 19 minutes to go.
But Villa came back fighting in stoppage time, grabbing their second through Hayden Lindley in stoppage time before their 93rd minute equaliser courtesy of Arjan Raikhy.
If Saturday’s game lives up to this previous encounter in early November it’s sure to be a spectacle.