U18 Preview: Leicester vs Saints

By SFC Media time Fri 22 Apr Leicester City vs Saints
Photo by Clive Howes | Eddie Beach

Southampton’s youngsters look to retain their place at the top of the Under-18 Premier League as they head to Leicester City on Saturday…

Leicester City vs Saints
Under-18s Premier League
Leicester City Training Ground
Saturday 23rd April, 1pm BST

Leicester City will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing defeat at home to West Brom last time out, while Saints will look to extend their lead at the top of the table.

It’s another huge test for Carl Martin’s side, who currently sit top of the Under-18 Premier League standings with just one point separating them and West Ham United. Though, Saints do have a game in hand.

After claiming an impressive victory over Chelsea last time out, Saints could significantly boost their title hopes with another victory on the road on Saturday.

Early goals from Luke Pearce and Dom Ballard provided Saints with a sufficient lead heading into the break at Chelsea, before Pearce secured his second of the game and confirmed an all-important three points.


The two sides have already met twice this season, facing each other twice in the space of two weeks back in October.

It’s one a piece at the moment, with Leicester claiming victory in the league but Saints picking up the win in the Under 18 Premier League Cup.

Kian Pennant opened the scoring when Leicester visited Staplewood back in October, before a Chris Popov brace secured victory in the league.

Saints enacted revenge just weeks later, with Fedel Ross-Lang and Dom Ballard netting to claim a 2-0 victory at Snows Stadium in the cup.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Dominic Ballard of Southampton celebrates scoring with team mates during the U18s Premier League Cup match between Southampton U18s and Leicester City at Snows Stadium on October 15, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Southampton players celebrating Dom Ballard's goal against Leicester (Photo: Isabelle Field)


“It’s going to be another big challenge,” confessed Under-18s Individual Coach Mikey Harris. “We faced them earlier in the season and they beat us 3-0 which is our most significant defeat of the season.

“They were very good that day and they are a top team. They’re very well coached with good players and obviously they’ve got a fantastic training ground as well.

“It’s going to be another great experience for the lads and another challenge that we’ve got to do our best to overcome.

“When you get to this end of the season, to be in with a chance of having some success it gives everyone that added energy and I guess nervous excitement going into games.

“The boys are in a good place; they have been all season. They’re an excellent group and they’re excited for the game, but also very focused and we’re ready to take this challenge on.”


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