Chelsea’s development squad host a London derby at Kingsmeadow tomorrow (Monday) in the penultimate game of the year, with Petr Cech set to start in goal, and you can watch the entire game live on the 5th Stand app or on the Chelsea website, plus Facebook and YouTube.
Here, we preview the two teams and hear from Chelsea's Tino Livramento ahead of tonight's kick-off...
How to watch and kick-off time
We will have live coverage of the entire game live and for free on the 5th Stand app and on the Chelsea website, plus the club's official Facebook and YouTube. Kick-off is 7pm and there will be updates and team news via the @Chelseafc Twitter account, with a report on the app and website following at full-time.
Our legendary goalkeeper is set to play for the young Blues at Kingsmeadow, utilising the provision for each team to field an over-age player between the posts in the under-23 competition if required. The 38-year-old has been training with the senior goalkeeping group regularly this season and was registered in our Premier League squad as a back-up to safeguard against concerns over Covid-19.
There are several reasons for his involvement, mainly that Lucas Bergstrom played for the youth team at the weekend and Karlo Ziger has been preferred to remain in the first team testing bubble. It is also useful for the veteran keeper to have some match fitness in the unlikely event he is ever required to step in for Frank Lampard's side and, similarly, for our youngsters to play alongside someone with such vast experience in the game.
The performance and point in Manchester against City two weeks ago was complimented by another strong showing more recently against Leicester which yielded maximum points, propelling the team into second place in the PL2 table.
Looking at Spurs
Our opposition are seventh in the league and on 12 points prior to the weekend of games. After three successive defeats, Tottenham put an end to the run with a win over Blackburn last Monday. That result will breed confidence for the north London side who are likely to have former young Blue Marcel Lavinier in their squad for the Kingsmeadow visit.
As we approach the mid-point of the season, Livramento, who has started all but one PL2 game, is pleased with how the team has been playing and feels as though there have been clear developments made from the start of the season.
‘I feel as though the team has been doing well, we are a young team with a lot of second-year scholars but I feel like we’ve gelled well together,’ he told us.
‘From the start of the season until now you can really tell that we understand the principles of play that the coaches are trying to drill into us. In our performances you can see we are enjoying everything we are doing.
‘Our attacking play has progressed throughout the season, we are converting more of our chances now. We have also improved defensively but that is always something we can take to the next level, which will come in time.’
Livramento has been very busy up and down the right side of the pitch all season but while enjoying his football, he admits to not having a preference in terms of playing position and reveals what target Ed Brand set for him last term.
‘It’s been a good start to the season for me. I’ve just been enjoying it and been playing in a few different positions, but always down the right side. It’s been fun, especially playing with Myles [Peart-Harris] in front of me or Henry [Lawrence] behind me when I’m playing on the wing, I’ve really enjoyed creating combinations of play with them two,’ explained the 18-year-old.
‘I don’t actually know which position I prefer, anywhere down the right is where I want to play – but I couldn’t name a position I like the most, just as long as I’m playing!
‘I spoke with Ed [Brand] last season and he said the one thing he would like to see added to my game and is goals and assists. If I keep getting into positions to have a shot or cut it back to someone else then those numbers will continue to increase, I’m just trying to put it in an area where one of my team-mates could be to score.'
With just three points separating eighth-placed Brighton from first-placed Man City ahead of the weekend of games, Livramento feels a derby win is as important as ever.
‘The league is so tight any result, win or draw, is a positive because you are keeping up with the top of the table. It’s really important to come away with at least a draw from this game but it’s a derby and we will be going for the win against a Spurs side who we know have goals in them. We want to end the year on a high and start the New Year on a positive note.'
In other development squad news, midfielder Thierno Ballo last week signed a new Chelsea contract which keeps him at the club until June 2022. After 12 outings in last season's title-winning PL2 campaign and scoring a solo goal, the 18-year-old has made nine appearances for the young Blues this term scoring once so far.