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Norwich City vs. Chelsea, FA Youth Cup Final, First Leg: Open Thread

Welcome to the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final! The Baby Blues are looking to defend their title.

Christopher Lee

As you no doubt know by now, Chelsea have a bit of a thing for the FA Cup. Just last year alone, the organization (nearly)* collected three of them: at the senior level, at the youth level, and the Chelsea Ladies (almost)* brought one home, too. And although the first team was unceremoniously dismissed from this year's edition by Manchester City and the Ladies lost out to Lincoln, the youth look to carry on the tradition.

* I had this incorrectly at first, having forgotten that the Ladies actually lost on a penalty shootout to Birmingham.

Norwich City is the opponent. I know very little about them but I'd assume Grant Holt doesn't get to play. So, yeah. Stephen's preview may shed a bit more light on the situation. Reece Hall-Johnson certainly has a name fit for a star, but maybe I'm just confusing him with Daryl Hall ... you're here, in gloooooooryyyylaaaaaaaandddddd.

The final, as always, is a two-legged affair with the return leg to follow at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight. I wouldn't mind if the Baby Blues made that second match a formality, just like last year when they started off the final by destroying Blackburn 4-0. About half of that winning team returns for this one, including future superstars Islam Feruz, Lewis Baker, John Swift, and Nathan Ake.

Chelsea U18 starting lineup (4-3-3):
Mitchell Beeney | Kevin Wright, Nathan Ake, Alex Davey, Ola Aina | Charlie Colkett, Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek | Jeremie Boga, Islam Feruz, Alex Kiwomya

Substitutes from: Ben Killip, Fankaty Dabo, Dion Conroy, Charly Musonda Jr., John Swift

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is much heralded Charly Musonda Jr. on the bench, having just received his clearance to step up from the U16 team for whom, by all reports, he's been excellent.

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