Our Under-19s are in European action in Valencia for the penultimate Group H game of this season’s UEFA Youth League. Kick-off is 1pm (UK time) and the tie will be screened live on BT Sport 2.
The Under-19s side are currently third in the UYL table with five points from one win and two draws - in contrast, Andy Myers’s Under-23 team are unbeaten at the top of the Premier League 2 table with 22 points from six wins and four draws.
Development squad captain Marc Guehi insists there is a confident feel among the squad as they head into the final stages of the competition.
‘We are feeling confident,’ Guehi tells the official Chelsea website as we recall recent results in the Academy. ‘In the previous games with Under-23s we’ve shown that we are capable of good things and we are still unbeaten in the league – hopefully we can bring that form into the Youth League game on Wednesday.’
Valencia recently visited Cobham in this season’s competition opener - a Tino Anjorin double had us level at the break but a second-half strike from Armando Broja wasn’t enough to secure an early victory as the visitors hit back six minutes from time.
Guehi wasn’t in the squad that day as he was named on the substitutes’ bench for the senior side at Stamford Bridge later that evening but he knows exactly what Myers will expect from the Under-19s come 1pm Wednesday afternoon.
‘He will expect what he expects all the time – a very aggressive, good performance from the team with the ball,' Guehi explained. 'Without the ball he will want us controlling the tempo even though we are away and demand we go out and showing what we are capable of. Valencia are a good side but I think we missed the opportunity to gain three points last time out against Ajax so that’s the aim for this upcoming game.
‘They [Valencia] would’ve seen us play throughout the competition and of course the last time we played them here we learned a little bit about them. If we go out with the right attitude and mentality - with our heads screwed on and the confidence of knowing that we should’ve beaten them at Cobham, we will be fine.’
The 19-year-old has featured twice for Frank Lampard’s team this season, as well as being named on the substitutes’ bench a hat-trick of times in the Premier League and once in the Champions League. He believes those experiences are good for his personal game but also benefit his Under-23 team mates.
‘It’s good for myself especially, for my game,' he said. 'Making sure I’ve got a better understanding and knowing what standard is required, no matter the game or occasion. I think it can help the team as well – but I think everyone is experienced enough in games at academy level to understand the importance of this game and know that if we play well we have got a good opportunity to win.’