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U18 Premier League Cup: All You Need To Know

The U18 Premier League Cup returns this weekend for its fifth year. Chelsea were crowned champions for the second time last year beating Fulham 2-1 in the final. The opening group stage fixtures get underway tonight as clubs compete to claim the Blues’ title. In this article, we will look through everything you need to know ahead of the latest U18 Premier League Cup campaign.

How it works:

The U18 Premier League Cup consists of 28 teams made up of all 13 Premier League North sides, all 12 Premier League South sides and three U18 Professional Development League sides, Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town and Sheffield United.

The teams are split into seven groups of four consisting of two northern teams and two southern teams in each group, with clubs playing each other once in the group stage.

The seven group winners and the best runner-up, which is decided by the highest total points followed by the highest goal difference followed by head-to-head record, will then compete in the knockout stage.

The Groups:

Group A: Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland and West Ham United

Group B: Chelsea, Derby County, Everton and Southampton

Group C: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Newcastle United

Group D: Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Sheffield United

Group E: Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, Manchester City and Norwich City

Group F: Charlton Athletic, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Group G: Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion

Teams and Players to watch:

Reigning champions Chelsea have started their league campaign well with two wins and a draw from their opening three games. Striker Leo Castledine has made a lively start to the season bagging three goals and an assist so far including a brace on his 17th birthday.

Free-scoring West Ham United currently sit top of the U18 Premier League South taking maximum points from their opening three games scoring twelve goals. Six of those goals have been scored by Callum Marshall who has maintained his impressive form after eight goals in five pre-season matches.

Sunderland have shot to the top of the U18 Premier League North with three wins from three scoring ten goals. Full-back Oliver Bainbridge and forward Tom Watson have already bagged themselves hat-tricks in the league and Jake Waters has impressed up front.

Liverpool have been scoring goals for fun in the league with 11 to their name so far. 16-year-old winger Ben Doak has caught the eye of many with his performances this season with two goals and an assist. Forward Louie Koumas scored four goals in one game on opening day.

Manchester City have won this competition twice and have made an unbeaten start to their league campaign scoring six goals in two games. Half of these have been scored by 16-year-old winger Joel Ndala including a brace against Derby County last week.

The opening group fixtures get the 2022/23 U18 Premier League Cup underway this weekend. The second round of group stage fixtures will take place on October 8th and the third batch on November 5th. The knockout stages will take place in the new year.

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