The Norwich City Under-18s are off on their travels once more, as they visit Motspur Park to play Fulham this Saturday (12pm KO), in the U18 Premier League.
A win would be hugely important for the young Canaries, who currently sit 12th in the table, but they face another tough test as they face first place Fulham, just two weeks after playing joint leaders Chelsea.
It’s been a season most teams could only dream of for Fulham, who are yet to lose a game, along with Chelsea and Brighton. Sitting on an impressive 22 points puts the Lilywhites 20 points ahead of the Canaries, after winning seven games and drawing one of their eight fixtures this season. The London club also have the most impressive accolade in the League, with the most goals scored and the fewest goals conceded, making them a potentially very tough nut to crack for City.
The teams last met just a month back in the U18 Premier League Cup, a game which ended at a 1-1 draw, leaving each side settling for just a point in their group. Not only that, but Fulham’s only draw in the League this season has been courtesy of the Canaries, leaving much to be desired from this upcoming fixture.
The home side have scored an impressive 29 goals this season, with a massive 13 coming from Jay Stansfield, meaning the striker has scored 44.8% of Fulham’s goals. This huge contribution makes him the danger-man the Canaries need to be looking out for to prevent that tally rising.
U18s winger Josh Giurgi is looking forward to the game, saying that Sunderland was a confidence booster going into the game ahead. He said:
“I’m feeling really confident, I think that after our last few performances we’ve looked more dominant than our opponents, and if we can perform like that again, then we should get the result we’ve been needing.
“The win on Saturday really helps, knowing you’ve got that confidence boost can really change the game.
“I think we can keep that winning feeling alive, 100%. We were well overdue a win, if you look at our performances. That win over Sunderland just gives us a big boost in confidence going into the next game, and hopefully the game after that.
“A result like that just really shows what the team is about, and if we can replicate that, then the result will take care of itself.”
The U18s last League game result was an unfortunate 3-2 loss to League leaders Chelsea, a game in which the young Canaries scored late twice, creating the possibility of a comeback. Speaking on the second-half performance, Giurgi thinks that the performance was a great standard to set for themselves against Fulham.
“We’ve spoken about the second-half against Chelsea in the team, and we feel like we were all over them in that second-half. We didn’t let them out of their own half to really breathe in the game, we pressed them as much as we could.
“I think if we apply the same pressure to Fulham as we did Chelsea, we’ll have no problems performing and doing that again but for the full 90 minutes this time round.
“We go into this game the same, there is absolutely no worry about changing tactics, because they work. We all know if we just go out there and work hard then we would have done ourselves justice.”
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