Chelsea’s Under-21 team have the chance to build on recent improved results when Crystal Palace are the visitors to Brentford tonight (Monday) for a league game.
Dermot Drummy’s side were 3-2 victors last weekend away at Manchester City, and four of that team were also involved in the 6-0 win by our Under-19 side over Norwegian club Molde midweek.
Lucas Piazon, a scorer against Molde, did not play in Manchester but he will be part of the side for this evening’s game at Griffin Park, bringing a touch of first-team experience to a side that may have some very young players.
So far this season Drummy has given minutes on the pitch to a healthy number of the youth team squad and first-year scholars Dion Conroy, a centre-back, and Reece Mitchell, an attacking player, are named in his latest Under-21 squad. They both played in the big win over Molde.
‘We are looking forward to playing against Crystal Palace because after Man City and Molde the lads are itching for another game,’ reports Drummy. ‘It will be good to have Lucas Piazon playing for us again and Jamal Blackman will be in goal and he is starting to put in steady performances again.
‘We have played some Under 16s and first years in the Under-19 league and they are acquitting themselves well. Younger players like Dion Conroy, Reece Mitchell, Jeremie Boga and Connor Hunte have all come in and done well and we are taking our time to look at everybody. We are really pleased with the quality that is coming through the youth team and when I give a game to players put forward by [youth team manager] Adi Viveash I am confident about their level.’
One more senior player who will not be available tonight for the best of reasons is Conor Clifford. The midfielder was called up over the weekend to the senior Republic of Ireland squad for Wednesday’s friendly game against Greece.
Islam Feruz, a scorer against Man City and Molde, is with Scotland Under-21s, and defender Nathan Ake, up to now an ever-present, has an appointment with the Dutch Under-19 squad.
In September, Chelsea and Palace played out a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park when they met for the first time in the U21 league, George Saville scoring both Chelsea goals from outside the area. The two sides both have eight points after eight games played.
Chelsea Under-21s v Crystal Palace takes place at Griffin Park, kick-off 7pm.
Tickets are available on the night, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for juniors and seniors.