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U18 Premier League Cup Quarter Finals Preview

[Credit: Alex Livesey]

The quarter-finals of the U18 Premier League Cup take place this weekend. The seven group winners and the best runner-up face off for a place in the last four. All ties are one-off matches decided by extra-time if level after 90 minutes and then penalties if required. Only Manchester City and Chelsea have won the competition since it was introduced in 2017/18 but with only one of those in the quarters draw there is a good chance of a new name on the trophy this season. Here’s a preview of the four clashes taking place on Saturday.

Sheffield United vs Fulham

Second-tier side Sheffield United caused the surprise of the group stages as they qualified ahead of high-flying Crystal Palace on goal difference. The Blades picked up six points from their three group games to finish top of Group D. United currently sit second in the table in the U18 Professional Development League North and come into this game off the back of four successive league wins.

Fulham edged out U18 Premier League South leaders West Ham United to qualify for the knockout stages. The Cottagers picked up six points in the groups and finished above the in-form Hammers on goal difference. Fulham currently sit 5th in the league and are in a good run of form with just one loss in their last five games.

Southampton vs Aston Villa

Southampton cruised through Group B unbeaten to reach the quarter-finals. The Saints picked up seven points in their three games to qualify as top of the group. They are currently sat in seventh in the U18 Premier League South after an up-and-down season. However, their form in the cup has been more consistent.

Aston Villa progressed through one of the hardest groups in the competition which included Manchester United and Arsenal. The Villains picked up six points in the groups and pipped Newcastle United to top spot on goal difference. Their league form has not been to the same standard, however. Villa sit bottom of the table and come into this tie off the back of four consecutive losses in the league.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City were the only side to take maximum points in the group stages this year. City beat Norwich City, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers to progress to the quarters. The Citizens currently sit 10 points clear at the top of the U18 Premier League North and are the only side from that league left in this competition.

Tottenham Hotspur qualified top of Group F with an unbeaten record. Spurs picked up seven points from their three games to see them through to the quarters. They currently sit fourth in the league and are in a good run of form with three wins in their last five matches.

West Bromwich Albion vs Charlton Athletic

West Bromwich Albion also went unbeaten in the group stages. The Baggies picked up seven points to qualify as Group G winners. West Brom sit eighth in the U18 Premier League South as they have struggled for consistency in their league form. However, their cup form is a lot more positive.

Second-tier Charlton Athletic qualified for the quarter-finals as the best runner-up. The Addicks missed out on top spot at the hands of Tottenham in Group F. Charlton picked up six points from their three games and had a +5 goal difference which saw them through to the quarters. They are leading the way in the U18 Professional Development League South by five points. The Addicks are in superb form with four wins in their last five league matches.

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