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Academy News

Match Preview: Swansea U23s v Norwich City

9 December 2019

Norwich City are in for a lengthy journey as they travel to the Swansea City Youth Academy Training Centre on Monday (7pm kick-off) in Premier League 2 Division 2.

A win is meaningful for the Canaries, as three points takes them to level points with the Swans and would mean they edge the Welsh side on goal difference, moving to 10th in the table with eleven points. A loss would see the Canaries lose sight of their opponents, as they would go six points behind.

The Swans aren’t experiencing their best form as of recent weeks, winning one, drawing one and losing three of their past five fixtures. Despite their recent form, the hosts have a record very similar to the Canaries, marginally better by one win. Swansea last played 8th place Fulham, a game ending in a draw.

The Canaries last met Swansea back in August earlier this season, a game which the Swans won 1-0, taking all three points home. This game is City’s second chance at besting their opponents, a chance they won’t be looking to waste.

Turning attention to the stats will find mixed reviews for the Canaries. Swansea have scored 13 goals this season, the 3rd lowest tally in the league, only besting Sunderland (7) and the Canaries (12).

Although the goals say Swansea are more dangerous in attack, the Canaries have scored in their last four fixtures, something the Swans have failed to do. As well as that, City boast a better defensive record by two goals, the stats reading in the Canaries favour as they have a better goal difference.

Swansea’s biggest threat is posed by Liam Cullen. The young forward has scored four times in eleven showings for the Swans, making him the sides top goal scorer after bagging just under a third of their total goal count this season.

U23s forward Gassan Ahadme is optimistic for the game, saying he feels as if the Reading win was a deserved one, meaning there’s no reason to lose their momentum against Swansea.

“The Reading game was a tough one. I think we dominated in the first half and really played well, but not so much in the second half. We finally got the goal after our hard work and got the win because of a lot of effort from all of us on the pitch. It was a nice win, because it felt deserved”

“The Swansea game is a really good opportunity for us to get another game. I think the Reading game was only our second win this season in the league, so it would be good to keep that winning streak going by taking three points from Swansea. I think it’ll make a good game too, knowing we can get the win.”

Ahadme was the man who scored the winner against the Royals, seeing the game off in it’s very last minute and securing all three points, something Ahadme says was all because of their game plan.

“In that moment we were playing a hard press and I ran as fast as I could to press the ‘keeper, he made a bad pass which Adam [Idah] picked up. I knew what to do and got in position in the middle of the box so when he squared it to me, I knew I was going to score.”

With the FA Youth Cup being played just one day after the Swansea game, it’s inevitable that the U23s will be missing some players for that game, being as a lot of the squad are eligible for the tournament. This doesn’t worry Ahadme though, with the forward certain that the squad have more than enough quality to still get the much needed three points.

“We’ll be missing some players for the Youth Cup, some really important players, the kind of players who start every game for us, but I think we have the quality to cope, we have great players all around us and it doesn’t change the chance we have to win. We have to try to fight to win and take the three points, and hopefully we can do that with who we have on the pitch.”

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