Southampton’s youngsters host Coventry City on Saturday afternoon as their 2020/21 FA Youth Cup journey kickstarts at St Mary's Stadium, with the game being live streamed on the club's official Facebook channel (UK only).
Saints vs Coventry City
FA Youth Cup third round
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 5th December, 1pm GMT
Streamed LIVE on Facebook and southamptonfc.com (UK only)
Both Saints and Coventry are embarking on their first voyage into this year's FA Youth Cup - England's most decorated competition for young Academy hopefuls.
Paul Hardyman’s side have enjoyed a mixed run of results in the southern Under-18s league so far this campaign, but importantly, have seen many young players take a leap into the tier above, turning out for Saints B in Premier League 2.
One such player, striker Sam Bellis, was on target for Saints in their last outing against Norwich, but saw his team fall to a 2-1 defeat.
Coventry currently sit seventh in the Under-18 Professional Development League, the tier below Saints, and suffered a similar fate at home to league leaders Wigan last weekend, losing 2-1.
Southampton last met domestically with the Sky Blues at Under-23s level, just over a year ago in the EFL Trophy group stages.
Saints lost out 3-2 in an entertaining game at St Andrew’s Stadium, Coventry's temporary home, where it took a hat-trick from French striker Max Biamou to see off the youngsters.
The two sides also met earlier this term during a friendly at St Mary’s in September, with Jake Vokins on target for Saints during a 3-1 defeat.
With a lack of Premier League action until Monday evening, fans can satisfy their Saints fix by watching Saturday’s FA Youth Cup tie LIVE.
Our coverage will begin shortly before 1pm, streamed on the club's Facebook page and southamptonfc.com.
Speaking at the final training session ahead of Saturday’s clash, Hardyman explained how camp was full of excitement ahead of a big occasion.
“It’s always an interesting time for the lads,” he said. “And for the club itself to see how everyone is progressing.
“There’s a lot of interest obviously because it is the big tournament for the lads. The week-to-week games in the Under-18 Premier League are really good groundwork but the lads really build this up.
“Coventry will come and will work hard. We know they’re a very tidy outfit so it’s a big day.
“At the moment we’re playing a very young team with a lot of first-years. The results don’t really reflect how well we’ve played.
“We’ve got a couple of the lads who have been up with the B team who will come and play for us and I’m sure they’ll enjoy the occasion.
“That’s our job, that’s what we’re here for to try and promote those lads through the system. The more we can promote the lads the better.
“But performances do matter, the better the performances the quicker they move up the ladder and get into that B team and first-team set-up.”