The Electrical Services Stadium hosts a London derby with a European flavour this Thursday, 19 February, as Chelsea’s Under 21 side face Fulham in the quarter-final of the new Premier League International Cup.
Current leaders of the Barclays Under 21 Premier League, The Blues won Group A with two wins and a draw from their three matches, including a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich City. Fulham, managed by former Celtic and Norwich midfielder Peter Grant, were runners-up to Athletic Club Bilbao in Group B after beating West Ham United and PSV Eindhoven.
Stars of Chelsea’s Under 21 side include first-team squad members Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Isaiah Brown and Andreas Christiansen. They will be facing a Fulham team possibly featuring Australian World Cup striker Adam Taggart, Northern Ireland international Liam Donnelly, Angolan international Mananga Jonathan Buatu, Venezuela international Fernando Amorebieta, plus first-team squad members Tim Hoogland, Mesca and Ange-Freddy Plumain.
The inaugural Premier League International Cup placed eight Premier League Academy sides alongside eight of the top youth teams from across Europe in four groups, with all matches played in England. Also qualified for the quarter-finals are Manchester City, who face Celtic, plus Leicester City, who will host Villareal, Everton or Sunderland, and Athletic Club Bilbao, who will play Norwich City or FC Porto.
Kick-off at the Electrical Services Stadium is at 7.05pm, with admission £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. The match will also be broadcast live on Chelsea TV.
That is followed, next Wednesday, 25 February at 7pm, with FREE admission to Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League round of 16 fixture against FC Zenit St Petersburg.
After winning Group G – scoring 24 goals in six matches against teams which mirrored the senior Champions League group stages – The Blues’ Under 19 side were guaranteed a home draw in the one-leg knock-out stages. The draw for subsequent rounds has also been made, and paired Chelsea with a possible Quarter-Final against Atletico Madrid or Arsenal, which in turn could create an all-English Semi-Final with Manchester City.
The tournament’s top scorer after the group stages is England Under 18 international Dominic Solanke, who also scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 6-1 FA Youth Cup victory against Huddersfield Town at the ESS last week. Other teams who have qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League include Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Ajax, Benfica and Roma.