U18s set for title tilt
Posted by nickogs20 on April 30, 2010
Hot on the heels of the Reserves clinching their league title ten days ago, Paul McGuinness’ U18s will be looking to follow suit tomorrow morning as they travel to Bolton knowing that a win will see them crowned champions of Premier Academy League Group C.
The Group C title race is down to just three teams and United are firmly in the box seat with two games left to play, sitting seven points clear of Everton with West Bromwich Albion a further two points back. While the Reds have played a game more than the chasing duo, they still need just three points to secure top spot and some more silverware to add to the Milk Cup and Torneo Claudio Sassi, and could even get over the line with a point, providing it comes next Tuesday in the Reds’ final game, which happens to be against the Toffees.
That said, McGuinness’ side won’t be wanting to have to rely on getting something from a midweek trip to Merseyside, and they can make that game an afterthought by winning at Bolton tomorrow. After six straight wins and ten games unbeaten the U18s are rightly full of confidence at the moment, as shown by Tuesday’s sensational derby comeback. With all due respect to tomorrow’s opponents, there’s little about the Trotters to dispel that confidence – Wanderers are some way adrift at the bottom of Group C, were routed 5-1 in the reverse fixture back in November and they’ve also lost their last five games, scoring just one goal in the process. Academy football is unpredictable at the best of times and complacency will need to be guarded against, but hopes will be high in the United camp that they can get the result they need tomorrow.
If they do… well I don’t want to tempt fate, but the winners of Group C will join the winners of Group A, B and D in the Academy League playoffs, where the national champion will be decided. The draw for the semi-finals has already been conducted, with the winner of Group C hosting the winner of Group A, and Group D’s victors travelling to face their Group C counterparts, both games taking place on Saturday May 8th. That means a home tie against Arsenal should United seal the Group C crown, while the other semi will be an all-East Midlands affair between Leicester City and Nottingham Forest. The final will be held later that week, although the exact date and venue is yet to be decided. If and when United clinch their place in that final four, we’ll have a full preview.
The Reds’ potentially decisive clash with Bolton kicks-off at 11am tomorrow (Saturday) and will be shown live on MUTV. Alternatively, you can keep track of events at Lostock Hall Farm via our live updates on Twitter. Fingers crossed and best of luck lads!