Get the lowdown on this weekend's Under-18s Premier League opposition, as the young Saints travel to Swansea...
Swansea U18 vs Southampton U18
Under-18s Premier League
Saturday 6th October, 11am BST
Swansea City Academy, Landore Training Ground
What a difference a week makes! Southampton’s Under-18s have registered back-to-back wins in their previous two game weeks, and can also take confidence from only a single goal against - conceded from the penalty spot.
The young Saints have beaten both Brighton (league) and Reading (PL Cup) in their previous two outings, and are firmly back on track after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Further good news also arrived in the lead up to this weekend’s Swansea clash, as 17-year-old defender Pascal Kpohomouh was named in England’s Under-18s squad for an upcoming tournament at St George’s Park.
Tomorrow's opponents, comparatively, fell to a heavy 6-1 defeat in their opening Premier League Cup tie against Middlesbrough last weekend.
The Welsh ouffit have been slightly goal shy this term, but nevertheless, are locked on four points with Saints after a first win against Reading in late September.
FLASHBACK: Swansea 2-3 Saints (April 2018)
These two sides met at the very end of last year's league competition, producing a five goal thriller, which Saints managed to edge 3-2 after falling behind twice. Jonathan Afolabi, Enzo Robise and Harry Hamblin were all on target.
Under-18s coach Paul Hardyman has been particularly impressed with how his young charges have taken key information on board in the last few training weeks...
"We’re pleased with the two results, and the performances in truth," Paul Hardyman commented. "Victory could have been more comfortable last week, but the win was satisfying.
"What is particularly pleasing is we’re conceding far fewer goals, and they’re taking on board the defensive work from training.
"We’ve talked a lot recently about roles and responsibilities, they’re beginning to understand that now.
"The centre-backs are being much more aggressive and attacking the ball, full-back are blocking crosses, and midfielders are tracking runners. They’re all things we weren’t necessarily doing as well at the beginning of the season.
"Swansea is a long trip. But if we set about the game in the right way, trying to replicate the things we’ve done well in recent weeks, I’m confident we’ll enjoy it and do well."