All or nothing today for the under-23s
We face West Bromwich Albion this afternoon in our final Premier League Cup group game and, following recent results, only a win will see us go through to the knock out stage of the competition.
Having been beaten by Bournemouth in the first game, we’ve now gone four without defeat, but since drawing with Liverpool in our last game, the results have gone against us to leave us bottom of the four team group. Not only that, anything but a win will see us finish in bottom place.
The league is so tight with only two points separating the teams and only Bournemouth having, so far gone through and they could be joined by any one of the three other teams.
It’s simple, whoever wins this afternoon’s game will not only join Bournemouth in the knock out stage but will actually win the group and qualify for a home game in the next round. However, should the game end in a draw, Bournemouth will win the league, both us and West Brom will miss out and Liverpool will go through in second place, courtesy of the better goal difference.
It’s the way Steve Stone wanted it. “That makes it even better and changes massively how they go for it and how we go for it,” he said. “They will be setting up to either suck us in to counter attack, or they will go all out, and we have to be aware on both counts. On the other hand, we have to dominate in what we do to them and that’s what we always look to do.”
Kick off this afternoon at Curzon Ashton is 2 p.m.
Today’s is the final group game of the season. The following teams have won through.
Group A: Stoke and Sunderland
Group B: Everton and Blackburn
Group C: Bournemouth
Group D: Nottingham Forest and Leicester
Group E: Swansea and Wolves
Group F: Derby and Aston Villa
Group G: Reading and Fulham
Group H: Leeds and Newcastle