U18 preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Saints

By SFC Media Sat 23 Mar Spurs v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Southampton FC

Get the lowdown ahead of Southampton Under-18s trip to face their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts at New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday…

THE MATCH

Tottenham U18 vs Southampton U18
Under-18 Premier League
New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Sunday 24th March, 3pm GMT

Saints youngsters will look to record a third successive victory in the Under-18 Premier League this weekend, after victories over Swansea City and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Goals from Benni Smales-Braithwaite, Pascal Kpohomouh and Christian Norton in the first-half saw them record a 3-0 success at Staplewood against their Welsh visitors last weekend, lifting them up to fourth in the league.

And as well as the chance to play at 62,062-seat arena, with an expected crowd of 30,000 supporters for the test event at the hosts’ new home, Paul Hardyman’s men will be hoping to end Spurs impressive unbeaten league run.

They too enjoyed a 3-0 victory last time out against Norwich City, with goals from Dilan Markanday (2) and Armando Shashoua.

That result means they are now 2nd, four points behind their North London rivals Arsenal with two games in hand.

Benni Smales-Braithwaite in action. (Photo: James Bridle)

COACH'S THOUGHTS: Paul Hardyman

“The lads have taken on board what we’ve been putting into them in training and we’ve started seeing the results in recent weeks.

“It’s a long process and we’ve probably got one of the biggest games in the players’ lives this weekend and we’ve tried to put that to bed and keep it under the radar.

“There’s been no real mention of it in terms of the occasion, we’ve just got on with our daily work in training. We’ll go out to do what we’ve got to do on Sunday.

“It can only be a very good experience to play in front of such a big crowd, so we’ve been making sure the lads are prepared properly like we do every game.

“We’ve got to work and try to get three points. We’re treating it like a normal game, even though we know it’s unique with the new stadium and playing in front of that many people.

“Tottenham are a good side and we’ve got a few players away on international duty so we’ve had to factor that in. They’ve won 14 and drawn two so it’s a fantastic record, but it has got to go at some stage I’d think so why can’t it be us.

“We’ll go there with a positive attitude off the back of two good results so the challenge is to maintain that. We’ve beaten Brighton and last week (against Swansea) was an excellent result so we’ve got to take that into this one.”

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