City under-18s go in search of a first win in three when they entertain Fulham at Platt Lane in the Barclays U18s Premier League on Saturday morning.
Perhaps the best indicator of what an evenly matched pool City are in, is that they are currently second bottom of the group but can go joint second with a win over the Cottagers.
It’s a great advert for the new league system that there should be so many tight games and to have five of the league’s seven teams separated by just three points hammers home this idea.
Adam Sadler’s men will be buoyed by the return to training of Angus Gunn who is still thought to be a couple of weeks away from match fitness but there are injury concerns over fellow member of the goalkeeper’s union, Billy O’Brien who is in a race against time to be fit for the encounter.
Dominic McHale came off the bench for the Elite Development Squad in their 3-2 defeat to Juventus in the NextGen Series and with Devante Cole playing all 90 minutes of that game, Fulham’s visit may prove a chance to give the boy from Hulme a chance to spearhead the attack.
Aaron Nemane scored twice when the teams met earlier in the season and will be fighting to play a significant role for the Blues, while Smith-Brown, Hutton and Byrne who were all unused subs in that NextGen Series match will all be expected to play some part.
City under-18s lost narrowly to league leaders Chelsea in their last outing, coming unstuck against a supremely talented side with older players and an unbeaten record.
We’ll bring you live Twitter updates @MCFC from this 11am kick-off and a full match report after the game. You can also read an interview with Angus Gunn in the matchday programme for the first-team’s clash with Spurs at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.