City u18s will be aiming to secure the North Division title when they travel to Chelsea on Saturday.
The young Blues have long since booked a place in the end of season play-offs, but will be keen to end the regular campaign with a flourish by winning the Northern League, and thereby securing a home draw for the play-off semi-final.
Jason Wilcox’s men are three points ahead of Everton with two games to go, but have a vastly superior goal difference over the Toffees, meaning that three points over Chelsea would almost certainly be enough, even if their Merseyside rivals take maximum points from the remaining fixtures.
The boy Blues come into this clash in a rich vein of form – they are unbeaten since 1 March and have won the last three fixtures on the bounce.
Last time out, West Ham were despatched 3-0 thanks to goals from Thierry Ambrose, Brandon Barker and Kean Bryan. Barker has now scored five in his last three appearances while French striker Ambrose took his tally to 22 for the season.
It was a performance and result that will encourage City, given the Hammers are aiming to qualify from the corresponding Southern League and secure a play-off spot themselves.
Since then, Ashley Smith-Brown and Brandon Barker both started for England u18s in their impressive 2-1 victory over Germany, while winger Jorge Intima shone for the Portugal u19s, scoring twice in three appearances as his national side clinched first place in the Porto tournament.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s play-off hopes were dealt a severe blow when they lost 3-2 to Newcastle two weeks’ ago, but the West Londoners were unbeaten in five matches prior to their trip to the North East.
However, Chelsea are expected to have one eye on Monday night’s FA Youth Cup final first leg against Fulham.
City will be also be eyeing a chance for revenge after losing home and away to Chelsea last term.
Kick off is at 1pm and we’ll have updates on twitter as well as a full match report on mcfc.co.uk after full time.