Welcome to the first day of the rest of the English Youth System's life! Under the umbrella of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), the shiny new Professional Development League is here. The top tier even has sponsorship and thus we have the Barclay's U21 Premier League. Woo!
Divided into 3 groups of 7-8 teams, the eventual winner of the league will be determined through a somewhat convoluted playoff system. Chelsea U21 will need to finish in the Top 2 of Group 3 to qualify for the second round Elite Group Stage.
That quest starts tonight, with a home* match versus Manchester City U21. Three overage outfield players and one overage goalkeeper are allowed in the matchday squad.
* home is Brentford FC's Griffin Park, with a capacity of just over 12,500.
Chelsea U21 (4-2-3-1): Jamal Blackman - Aziz Deen-Conteh, Nathan Ake, Alex Davey, Todd Kane (c) - Nathaniel Chalobah, George Saville - Lucas Piazon, Billy Clifford, Lewis Baker - Patrick Bamford
Substitutes from: Mitchell Beeney, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Thorgan Hazard, John Swift, Alex Kiwomya
Manchester City U21 (4-2-3-1): Johansen, Facey, Helan, Evans, Kennedy, Wabara, Drury, Lopes, Hiwula, Suarez, Rusnak
Substitutes from: Leigh, Lawlor, Huws, Henshall, Bunn
I know nothing of these City kids, but they sure do have a lot of 'w's in their names. Albert Rusnak is from Slovakia, so I'm sure he's badass.