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U18 Premier League Cup: Game week 3 northern preview

The U18 Premier League Cup returns for the third and final round of group stage fixtures this weekend. All seven groups will be decided with the winners of each group, along with the best runner-up overall, progressing to the quarter-finals played later in the season. In this article, we will take a look ahead at the fixtures awaiting the 14 Northern sides.

Sunderland will host West Ham at the Academy of Light
Sunderland will host West Ham at the Academy of Light training ground

Nottingham Forest vs Fulham

Forest have struggled this season and have only won once in the league since the opening day. However, they have fared better in the cup with one win and one loss so far. Forest currently sit top of Group A on goal difference as all teams sit level on three points apiece. Due to this, a victory over Fulham should be enough to see Forest through depending on the score in the other games.  

Sunderland vs West Ham United

Sunderland has had an incredible start to the season in the league. They currently sit top of the U18 Premier League North with five wins and a draw in their first seven matches. In the U18 Premier League Cup, they have one win and one loss from their two games but they currently sit bottom with the worst goal difference. Therefore, they need a convincing victory over West Ham to qualify as group winners.

Everton vs Southampton

Everton have had a mixed campaign in the league so far and currently sit in midtable. They have struggled for a run of consistent games and have not won in their last three matches. The Toffees have won one and lost one in their opening two Group B games which leaves them in second currently. They need to beat Southampton by two or more goals to progress as group winners.

Derby County vs Chelsea

Derby have had a really difficult campaign and currently sit bottom of the league with just one win to their name. The Rams have only scored four goals in all competitions this campaign. They haven’t fared any better in this competition as defeats in both of their opening games mean they have already been knocked out of the U18 Premier League Cup.

Aston Villa vs Newcastle United

Newcastle have become the draw specialists in the U18 Premier League North with three draws in their seven games so far. They have only won once in the league this season but in this competition, they are two wins from two. This means that the Toon need just a point against Aston Villa to qualify for the quarters.

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Manchester United have had a quiet spell in their season and have played just one game since their 4-1 defeat against Newcastle last month in this competition. They faced the Toon again last weekend in the league and earned a 2-2 draw. United have lost both games in this competition meaning they are already eliminated regardless of the result in this tie.

Sheffield United vs Brighton

Sheffield United are enjoying a successful season in the U18 Professional Development League and currently sit in second, only behind leaders Barnsley on goal difference. The Blades have won one and lost one in this competition so far, so they need a win against Brighton to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Leeds United vs Crystal Palace

Leeds have had an up-and-down season and have struggled for consistency in the league. They are out of form currently with three successive defeats in all competitions. They have suffered defeat in both of their opening games in the U18 Premier League Cup meaning they are already eliminated from the competition.

Norwich City vs Manchester City

Man City have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. They are third in the U18 Premier League North and have progressed to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League. City have won both their opening games meaning that a victory at Norwich would see them through as winners in Group E and a draw would see them through as the best runner-up.

Leicester City vs Blackburn

Blackburn have had a difficult campaign this season and currently sit second bottom in the league, suffering six defeats from eight games. Their struggles have carried into the cup with defeats in their first two games meaning they are already eliminated. Rovers will be hopeful of a victory over Leicester to boost confidence and morale.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool

Wolves have had a strong campaign in the league, suffering just one defeat and boasting the best defensive record. However, that form has not carried over into the cup as they have just one point from their opening two games meaning they cannot qualify. Liverpool have been one of the most impressive teams this season, they are second in the U18 Premier League North and have progressed to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League. However, in this competition, they have lost both of their opening games meaning they are already eliminated. The two sides played each other just last week in the league with Wolves running out 1-0 winners.

West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City

Stoke come into this match in a poor run of form. They have not won a game since the 1st of October but earned a well-deserved point against high-flying Sunderland last weekend. The Potters have not fared well in this competition with defeats in their first two matches meaning they are already eliminated but they have a chance to end on a high against West Brom.

Middlesbrough vs Ipswich Town

Middlesbrough have hit form at the right time for this clash coming into it off the back of four successive wins including a 1-0 victory over Stoke in this competition. That win leaves them third in Group G and a win over lower league Ipswich Town alongside West Brom failing to beat Stoke would see Boro through as group winners.

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