By Scott Taylor
Neil Critchley’s Liverpool U18s look to make it six wins in a row when they take on the league leaders Manchester City at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday morning. After last week’s clash against Sunderland was postponed, some of the U18 players made their debuts for the U21s, featuring in games against Tottenham and Sunderland. Those players will likely return to U18s action in a huge game in the U18 Premier League, as Liverpool look to avenge their 1-0 defeat on the opening day.
Liverpool could have England duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Herbie Kane back in the side this week, after England U17s’ early exit from the World Cup in Chile. Captain Alexander-Arnold will be a big boost to the Reds, as he has scored five goals this season. Jake Brimmer represented Australia at the World Cup, and after his side’s 6-0 defeat to Nigeria in the last 16 yesterday, Saturday’s game may be too early for him to feature.
Yan Dhanda, Paulo Alves, Corey Whelan, Conor Masterson and Kristof Polgar featured for Michael Beale’s U21s last week and are likely to return to the U18s. That is helped also by the fact that the U21s’ game against Southampton was postponed and that Allan has returned from his loan spell to molster their midfield options. Masterson will in particular be a key addition to the U18s defence after being on international duty with Ireland U19s. His experience will be key against the side who are just one point clear at the top of the league. Liverpool currently trail Manchester City by seven points but do have two games in hand.
Despite this, they will need to put in another good performance if they are to beat the league leaders. Manchester City have lost just once in their opening 11 games off the season. After scoring 28 goals in the process, they are the leagues highest scorers and they also have the best defence, conceding just ten goals. They have both won their last two games 6-1 so it sets up to be a cracking game at the Academy on Saturday morning.