Chelsea U19 have been one of the heavyweights of the UEFA Youth League since its inception, winning it in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, and will look to continue that trend in this season’s competition, which is set to begin in March with a revamped single-elimination format.
And it won’t exactly be an easy start for the Blues, having been drawn at home against another heavyweight in 2016-17-winners FC (Red Bull) Salzburg, the current Austrian champions and a semifinalist last season. The Round of 64 encounter is currently set to be played on either March 2nd or 3rd, though with the current pandemic conditions, that’s always subject to change.
Unlike previous years, which more or less mirrored the Champions League’s format (with an additional route for domestic champions whose senior teams didn’t qualify for the CL), all games will be single-elimination, though still split into two pathways. The 32 youth teams on the Champions League side will play each other for two rounds, to reduce to just 8, and the 32 teams on the domestic champions side will do the same. The 16 remaining teams at that point will be drawn against each other, and the competition will proceed in expected fashion from there.
Basically, six wins gets you the trophy.
⚽ #UYL round of 64 draw made— UEFA Youth League (@UEFAYouthLeague) January 27, 2021
Ties on 2 and 3 March
Who is your tip for the title?
A player is eligible for the 2020-21 UEFA Youth League if he was born on or after January 1 2002. A maximum of five club-trained Under-20 players (born on or after January 2001) can also be included in the overall list of 40 players.
The likes of Lucas Bergstorm, Dynel Simeu, Levi Colwill, Myles Peart-Harris, Lewis Bate, Valentino Livramento, Harvey Vale, Bryan Fiabema, and Jude Soonsup-Bell are all likely to feature for Andy Myers’ side in what promises to be an exciting campaign.
Good luck to the boys!
Chelsea's tournament record:— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 27, 2021
13-14: Quarter Finals
16-17: Not allowed to defend title
19-20: Group Stage