FA Youth Cup live stream preview: Into the Lions’ Den

From the official Chelsea FC website:

Under-18s head coach Hassan Sulaiman is confident his players have what it takes to handle a hostile reception when we travel to The Den to face Millwall in Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup quarter-final, which you can watch live for free on the Official Chelsea App.

The Blues go into this FA Youth Cup tie having already defeated Leicester City, Everton and Crystal Palace – all away from home – to reach the last eight of Academy football’s most prestigious competition. Our quarter-final at Millwall kicks off at 7pm on Wednesday 21 February and will be streamed live for free to supporters in the UK on the Official Chelsea App.

Our Under-18s have also been in impressive form recently, with back-to-back league wins at West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur putting us right into the mix at the top of the table.

However, head coach Hassan Sulaiman is ensuring our focus is fully shifted to the FA Youth Cup next, as he knows playing for a club like Chelsea means every opponent we face is always keen to take a big scalp, whatever the level and whatever the competition.

‘It’s going to be a tough game,’ said Sulaiman. ‘We expect it to be difficult but in these cup games every game is difficult.

‘The picture we keep painting for the boys is that everybody has a desire to beat Chelsea, everybody turns up with their best team, everybody turns up like it’s their cup final. Whether that be Millwall in the cup or Tottenham in the league on Saturday, everyone has the same motivation.

‘The only thing we can control is to ensure that we turn up with the best versions of ourselves and impose on them the way that we want the game to go, rather than allow it to be dictated to us. We’re expecting a tough game, without a shadow of a doubt.’

This match will also carry a little extra spice due to the cross-London rivalry between the two clubs, something which is sure to create an unforgiving atmosphere for the young Blues when we travel across the capital to The Den, home of Millwall.

Sulaiman is looking at the positives, though, as opportunities to play in front of a relatively large and partisan crowd at a men’s stadium are rare at Under-18s level. Given it is something they will hopefully need to deal with on a regular basis as these teenagers continue their careers, the more experience of it they can get at a young age the better.

‘It will be a great environment for the boys, exactly what they need to prepare. We always talk about development and this is it, this is what they need in order to get to where they want to be.

‘They’re not playing in front of 60,000 fans yet, but in a couple of years’ time some of them will be. So however many fans turn up the boys have to be ready for a hostile environment and they have to make sure that they’re ready to perform. I’m sure they will be.’

Indeed, although The Den is regarded as a notoriously difficult stadium for even the most experienced of professionals to visit, our Under-18s head coach is confident his players have already learned enough to handle any hostile atmosphere this away trip may hold.

‘I think the boys will be fine,’ he added. ‘The good thing about our programme is that from a young age we expose the boys to a lot of competitive football, whether it be international tournaments with the club or quite a number of them going away to represent their countries.

‘There are the boys who went to the Under-17 World Cup at the end of last year. Those are invaluable experiences that will add to what they’re going to benefit from at The Den. They’ll be able to draw on those experiences to make sure that they’re ready for this game.’

Where to watch the live stream

The match will be available to watch on the Official Chelsea App, complete with enhanced stats and event tracking from MVX, built by Infinite Athlete. The stream is available exclusively in the UK free of charge.





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