Chelsea will take on Liverpool tonight in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semifinal, and they'll do so on a much better playing surface than they saw for the NextGen Series semis and final. The youngsters will get their chance to play on the first team pitch at Anfield, something that should be a real treat for a group that is old enough to remember a time when Liverpool brought the Champions League trophy back to the storied ground.
For those that haven't paid attention to this competition in the past, there is no away goal rule in effect in the tournament. A goal today at Anfield is weighted the same as a goal in the return leg in London, so there is no added incentive to score today than there will be in the second leg.
Chelsea's youth side tend to prefer building up slowly out of the back, and often times this leads to slower starts to their games. Don't be surprised to see a bit of a lackluster start to the tie, with Chelsea looking increasingly dangerous as the game wears on.
With that in mind, Adi Viveash has selected the following lineup to use today (and there were a few surprises in there). I'd expect it to be a 4-2-3-1 setup, as that's been the most common formation the U18 and U21 sides have deployed this season:
FA Youth Cup XI v Liverpool: Beeney, Aina, Davey, Christensen, Wright, Baker (c), Loftus-Cheek, Colkett, Boga, Kiwomya, Feruz.— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) April 12, 2013
Subs: Killip, Conroy, Dabo, Swift, Hunte.— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) April 12, 2013
Meanwhile, Liverpool will deploy the following side today:
#LFCU18s team to face Chelsea: Fulton, McLaughlin, Jones, Cleary, Maguire, Rossiter, Lussey, Brannagan, Peterson, Ibe, Dunn.— Liverpool FC(@LFC) April 12, 2013
#LFCU18s subs v Chelsea: Crump, Sinclair, Trickett-Smith, Baio, O'Hanlon.— Liverpool FC(@LFC) April 12, 2013
As always, keep things relatively clean and don't link or direct to illegal streams. Go Baby Blues!