In the 18th round of matches of the 2017/2018 PL2 Division 1 campaign, Terry Westley’ West Ham United Development Squad make the tricky trip to face off with Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Development Squad in an intriguing top six matchup.
The young Reds go into the affair off the back of a disappointing Premier League Cup defeat at the hands of Bristol City, while the young Hammers were able to get a draw from their last outing at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the League, balancing things out nicely for an even encounter.
The clash is scheduled to kick-off at 3 PM GMT tomorrow afternoon, Saturday 17 February 2018, and as is custom with most PL2 affairs, there will be no live Television coverage available for viewing in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, live Radio commentary is also unavailable from the match, but never fear, if you head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter you can be sure to find live build-up, updates and reaction from Merseyside.
The visit of the East Londoners will be held at the home of Liverpool’s Academy at Kirby Training Ground, which is host to the home matches of the club’s U18 and U23 teams, amongst others.
Saturday will spell the third time that the Irons have been visitors to the venue in recent times, drawing and losing once, being subjected to a 5-0 loss in their last outing there, they will be looking for revenge this time around.
Liverpool boss Critchley has very few injury worries heading into the weekend with a near fully-fit squad at his disposal, featuring some of the brightest young talents that England has to offer.
These include the likes of England U17 world champions Rhian Brewster, another English prodigy in midfielder Harvey Whyte, Portuguese striker Toni Gomes is another to look out for.
Meanwhile, West Ham manager Westley will be relieved to see star midfielder Marcus Browne back fit and firing again, with many of his key young players currently out on loan or injured.
With David Moyes’ first-team enjoying a weekend off, however, he may be able to call upon some returning first-team stars on their comebacks from injury, one of those may be Jose Fonte, while new signing Oladapo Afolayan will be hoping to continue to impress.
The Development Squads of Liverpool and West Ham United have met a mere five times in the League in last five years of Football at that level, which has seen a re-structure during that time period.
Out of that relatively low number of encounters, the team from the North West have dominated the overall record with three wins to their name, there has been one triumph for the side from East London and a single draw.
The most notable of the recent matchups between these two surely came during the 2015/2016 campaign in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup, tomorrow’s visitors advancing over two legs and going on to lift the trophy that year.
Last time out, Critchley’s men were able to get the better of Westley’s at the Chigwell Construction back in September 2017, Harry Wilson netting a first-half brace to secure the three points for them.
Liverpool Football Club, formed all the way back in the year of 1892, has become world-renowned for possessing one of the most iconic and successful Academy systems in the game.
Famous past products of the process have included big names such as the trio of former England internationals Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and in times more recent, the likes of current first-team stars Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In terms of trophies, the U23s or Reserves are one of the most converted sides in the Country at that level, lifting as many as 40 Liverpool Senior Cups and 12 Lancashire Senior Cups, to name but a few of their many achievements.
Nowadays, under former U18s boss Critchley, the Reds are flying high in the PL2 Division 1 at the very summit of the table and in possession of a one-point lead over Arsenal in second position, 12 points and five places in front of the Irons in sixth place.
So, now that the Kirby Training Ground scene has been well and truly set for an exciting afternoon of PL2 action, will the hosts avoid an unlikely upset to hold onto their slender lead at the top of the Division 1 standings?
Or, can the visitors pull off yet another impressive away scalp to get back on track in terms of forcing their way back up into the top four? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your early score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.