U18 Preview: Liverpool vs Saints

By SFC Media Fri 07 Dec Liverpool v Saints
Photo by James Bridle

Young Saints gear up for their final competitive clash of 2018, with a trip to Liverpool...

THE MATCH

Liverpool U18 vs Southampton U18
U18 Premier League Cup
Liverpool Academy
Saturday 8th December, 11am

Southampton's youngsters round off 2018 with an away day in Merseyside this weekend, facing Liverpool in the Premier League Cup.

Liverpool, like Saints, have played their final league fixture of the year, beating Middlesborough in a dramatic 6-5 thriller, while Paul Hardyman's side registered more of a straight forward 4-1 win over Norwich.

Reds Academy star Bobby Duncan, formerly of Man City, netted four in that tie, and will be one to watch if he features against Saints in Saturday's Premier League Cup decider.

Group B, also including Stoke and Reading, is finely poised, with Liverpool the front runners, and Saints a close second - but with all still to play for.

Reading are unlikely to qualify, having lost both of their games, but there's potential for all other group participants to progress.

Saints will need to take something from this weekend's clash if they want to stake a claim for the knockout phases, but will be in a confident mood after their midweek success, comfortably seeing off Rotherham in the FA Youth Cup.

FA Youth Cup: Saints 2-0 Rotherham (Christian Norton, Will Ferry)

COACH'S THOUGHTS: Paul Hardyman

"They've done everything right since the Youth Cup win, recovered well," Hardyman said. "They're ready to go again!

"We've made it difficult for ourselves, after being 2-0 up against Stoke. So we've got to go to Liverpool and try for a result.

"The hardest thing for me was that we were in a great position in the group, and we've almost thrown that away. But we're still in it, it's a fantastic opportunity against a great team on Saturday.

"There will be a few fresh legs playing. We want to continue our recent winning streak, but on paper, this is our toughest challenge of the group.

"We'll have to be right defensively, that's for sure. We want to see a performance that's full of confidence, and showcasing what we're good at.

"If you're doing things right, the result always follows."

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