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Opposition report: Manchester City Under-18s

Blues will look to cause a huge upset against the holders at the Academy Stadium this evening.

BCFC

All you need to know about tonight's opposition in the FA Youth Cup...

FORM GUIDE: 

The free-scoring Citizens have hit 39 goals in their last 11 league fixtures, losing just once against city rivals Manchester United. Other than that, City have won nine and drawn one game.

Most recently, City were in action in the U18 Premier League North against Stoke on Tuesday afternoon - dispatching the Potters 5-0, having been four goals infront by half-time.

The victory moved Carlos Vicens' team to the top of the Under-18 Premier League North table on goal difference, ahead of second-placed Manchester United.

IN THE DUGOUT:

Appointed at the start of the current U18’s season, Spaniard Carlos Vincens is the man that will City into battle against Blues on Friday night.

Prior to taking the role, he worked as an assistant to previous U18’s coach Gareth Taylor, who is now manager of the club’s growing women’s team. He enjoyed success working with his predecessor too – as the club lifted the 2019/20 Under 18’s title, as well as both the 2019 and 2020 Under 18s Premier League Cup.

Vincens has worked his way up the coaching ladder in the North West, initially working with City’s Under 12s when he joined the club in 2017.

As a player, Vincens competed primarily in Spain’s lower leagues, enjoying a brief spell in America before taking on his first managerial role at Mallorcan outfit Ses Salines in 2010.

Darren Hughes works as Vincens’ number two.

ONE TO WATCH:

17 league goals in 16 league games this season suggests City frontman Tai Sodje is one to keep an eye on during this evening’s game.

A consistent starter for the Under 18s throughout the current campaign, the skilful frontman has been with the club for six years having moved to the city from Sheffield when he began his Citizens career as a 12-year-old.

He’s played the majority of City’s games as the centre-forward in Vincens’ preferred 4-3-3 formation but also has the ability to operate on either one of the flanks.

Sodje scored all three goals in September’s 3-1 away win over Liverpool.

BLUES FORM:

Blues come into the game in good form – having won four of their past five league games. Most recently, Paul Harsley’s men comfortably overcame bottom-of-the-table Nottingham Forest 3-1.

Before that, Blues registered victories against Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry City, and Hull – falling to defeat against third-placed Barnsley in February.

Blues boss Paul Harsley knows tonight's home side well having managed their Elite Development Squad - otherwise known as the Under 23's, before taking the job at Blues. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Man City's Academy Stadium forms part of the Etihad Campus - the wider area used by all of the club's development and youth teams.

The 80-acre facility opened at the end of 2014 and since then, has been used by City's U23's, U18's and other development squads. 

The stadium is also home to Manchester City Women.

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