Moore Than Just A Club

Match Preview: Swansea City U23s vs West Ham United U23s: Premier League Two Division One Matchday Fifteen

In the 15th round of matches of the 2017/2018 PL2 Division 1 campaign, Terry Westley’s West Ham United U23s travel to Wales to face off with Cameron Toshack’s Swansea City U23s in what is set to be an entertaining top six clash.

The Swans go into the affair off the back of a thrilling Premier League Cup victory away at Colchester United last Thursday night, whereas, it will be two weeks since the Hammers were last in action, drawing at home to Leicester City in the League, the hosts are slight favourites.

When?

The encounter is scheduled to take place on Monday evening (Monday 29 January 2018), with a kick-off time of 7 PM GMT and as is custom with PL2 fixtures, no live Television coverage available for viewing the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, there is also no live Radio commentary available to listen to either, but never fear, if you head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter, you can be sure to find live build-up, updates and reaction from the clash.

Where?

The visit of the East Londoners will be held at Swansea City’s Training Ground of Landore Training Centre, home to the club’s Academy training and the majority of their matches.

Monday will spell the second time that Westley’s boys have visited the venue, winning 0-1 in their only recent previous outing there which came in the U21 Premier League in November 2015.

Team News:

Swansea Boss Toshack will be without key man Jay Fulton who has just joined Wigan Athletic on loan till the end of the season, joining Matt Grimes who is with Northampton Town.

This will mean that they will have to rely on some of the other young talent that is available to them, this could include the likes of exiting attackers Kenji Gorre and Oliver McBurnie, not to mention young prodigy Courtney Baker-Richardson.

Meanwhile, Westley also lost one of his starlets to a loan, Martin Samuelsen joining Burton Albion, he will also be missing several of his players who travelled with the first-team to Wigan in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.

However, young midfielder Marcus Browne could be in line to make his full return from injury and first-team, defender Jose Fonte could well feature as he comes back from an ankle knock.

Form:

The Development Squads of Swansea City and West Ham United have met a mere three times since the restructure of Football at that level, which took place at the start of the 2015/2016 season.

From those three matches, the team from Wales have trumped on two occasions and the team from East London only once, there have been no draws in this fixture in recent times.

The last meeting between the two teams came a matter of months ago, August 2017, when the hosts that day, West Ham, thrashed their visitors to the Chigwell Construction Stadium 5-2.

The emphatic win came courtesy of goals from Nathan Holland, Grady Diangana, Antonio Martinez and Dan Kemp, with City ironically scoring early and late through Connor Roberts and Baker-Richardson on a sunny Sunday.

The Opposition:

The Development Squad, or U23s, of Swansea City was forged from the U21 team before the start of the 2016/2017 and have been vastly successful since then under the guidance of Gary Roberts and then Toshack, earning promotion to Division One in the first season.

The team, as U21s were one of the last winners of the PDL and notable graduates in the past have included Welsh Internationals Joe Allen, Jazz Richards, Marley Watkins, Shaun MacDonald, and Richard Duffy.

At U18 or Academy level, Swansea have also enjoyed success in times more recent, holding an incredible record in the FAW Welsh Youth Cup, having won it every year since 2010, amongst other honours.

Nowadays, under the son of former Real Madrid and Wales Boss John Toshack, the Swans are enjoying life in the PL2 Division One, currently occupying fifth place in their first campaign, only above the East Londoners in sixth on goal difference, having played a game more than them.

So, now that the Landore Training Centre scene has been well and truly set for an exciting evening of Development Squad action, will the hosts reign supreme to force their way up into the top four?

Or, can Westley’s boys claim another impressive scalp on the road to leapfrog Swansea and Everton into fourth position? Think you know? Head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your early score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.