The preparations have been completed and youth team manager Adi Viveash anticipates an enthralling match tonight (Monday) to decide the destiny of this season’s FA Youth Cup.
Our Under-18s kick-off at 7.45pm in the quest to overcome Norwich’s 1-0 first-leg lead, and with Stamford Bridge ready to host a large attendance, there is confidence we can retain the trophy won last year.
‘There has been a two-week gap between the games which is quite a long time for one of these ties,’ says Viveash as he details the build-up to tonight’s match.
‘There have been other games so some of the team have played in Under-21 matches, some in Under-18s and we had an in-house game too.
‘We gave the players some rest because the programme was worked out so as to try to hit their maximum in this game, and I think we are just about right.
‘We feel the preparation has been good, the boys have played a lot of games this year and we hope they have one big push left in them.
‘It has been good to welcome some of the boys who missed the first leg due to injury back into training and they have come through pretty strongly. We are all in good spirits and if we create as many chances as in the first leg, I will be happy.’
The game at Carrow Road was decided by a penalty right at the very end and Viveash was clear at the time he was proud with how his players performed, backing them to score goals with a similar display in the second leg. The ‘away goals’ rule does not operate in the Youth Cup. A crowd of over 21,000 were present in Norfolk and it is hoped the Stamford Bridge support will create a similar atmosphere tonight.
‘It looks like we are going to have a really decent crowd which is great,’ says Viveash.
‘Playing in front of that is part of the players’ development and hopefully it will give us the impetus to attack the game. We try to win every game and this will be no different, and I am hoping the crowd can get behind the team and give the players a lift, and that could be important depending on how the game goes.
‘We try to play a brand of football that fits in with the philosophy of the Academy and the club and when they get it right they are special to watch. I hope they get it right this evening and if they do they will produce something they will remember for the rest of their careers.
‘We are looking forward to an exciting night. It is all set up for a rousing second leg.’
– Tickets for tonight’s game can be purchased from the box office until 4pm. Chelsea TV’s live coverage begins at 7.30pm.
– Live text commentary of the game will be available via this link (Please note: this is a different page from the one used for first team matches).