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FAYC preview: Rovers Under-18s v Manchester City Under-18s

A look ahead to the clash against Manchester City's Under-18s in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup

30 October 2020

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Seven months on from when the initial date was set, Rovers Under-18s and Manchester City's Under-18s will battle it out for a place in the final of the FA Youth Cup.

Having been pencilled in for March, the encounter between the two sides will finally take place behind closed doors at St. George’s Park later on today (Friday 30th October), kick-off 5pm.

Rovers have defeated Newport County, Charlton Athletic, Preston North End and Arsenal all on home turf to reach this stage of the competition.

The performance of the tournament so far came in the quarter-finals with that stunning 4-1 victory against the Gunners.

Sam Burns scored in each half to open and end the scoring for Rovers in what was an excellent display, with second half strikes coming in-between from D'Margio Wright-Phillips, who was then on loan from today's opponents, and Luke Brennan.

City booked their place in the last four with a 1-0 win over Burnley back in March having previously defeated Swansea City, Aston Villa and Fulham.
The Citizens come into the game in fine form, sitting top of the Under-18s Premier League table and unbeaten in their last five outings.
Mike Sheron is set to welcome back a number of the group who moved up to the Under-23s squad in the summer, with the likes of Brennan and Burns given dispensation to feature, just as they did in the previous rounds.

Jordan Eastham is likely to keep his place in goal having featured in each of the earlier rounds, whilst Dan Pike, who has impressed in his outings in the Under-23s so far this term, is expected to come in at right back.

Further forward, Brandon Lonsdale, who scored at the weekend against Middlesbrough in the league, is expected to feature, whilst Burns will go in search of scoring in the competition for a fifth successive game having bagged at least once in every round up to this point.

And ahead of the semi-final showdown, City chief Carlos Vicens, who took over from Gareth Taylor in the summer, is expecting a good battle against an "aggressive" Rovers side at Burton upon Trent.

“In the past seasons, every time we play them it has been a tough game, with the EDS or the under-18s,” he said to the official Manchester City website.

“The recent EDS game was a really tough one and we ended up losing 2-1. Last season the under-18s lost 2-1 away and won 2-1 at home.

“Blackburn are always an aggressive team, they can play and they have some threats on the wing and up front.

“I expect a tough game and we need to prepare properly because if not it will be really difficult.”

The second semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester United will kick-off at 7.45pm at the same venue and on the same date.

Supporters wishing to watch the game can do so by tuning into BT Sport 1, with the coverage beginning at 4.45pm.

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