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Francis: We're ready for Youth Cup decider

FRANCIS: City's defender keeps his eye on the ball during the U18 Premier League clash between the sides

FRANCIS: City's defender keeps his eye on the ball during the U18 Premier League clash between the sides

Manchester City understand what they need to do in order to lift the FA Youth Cup – according to both the coach and the captain.

City head into Wednesday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge on level terms with current holders Chelsea after Phil Foden’s equaliser following Ike Ugbo’s strike on Tuesday night.

This is the third consecutive final between City and Chelsea – with the Londoners’ increased physicality playing a major role as they came out on top in both 2015 and 2016.

Boss Lee Carsley elected for a slightly more combative side than usual at the Academy Stadium with both Matt Smith and Jacob Davenport starting in midfield and Sadou Diallo playing at centre-back. Carsley believes he has learned a lot from that tie ahead of the return leg.

He said: “We felt that against Arsenal in our last game we lacked that little bit of physicality and we knew that Chelsea are a team full of big, strong players. One of the big plusses of Tuesday night was Sadou playing in an unfamiliar position but he was very important for us.

“We’ve had a couple of down days to let the lads reflect on what they could do better. We’ve watched the game back to see our game plan from last week and we know what we need to work on. We’ll be ready for Wednesday night.”

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There will be full coverage of Chelsea v Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup final second leg on @ManCityAcademy.

City were also given the opportunity to star on their biggest stage of the season with a bumper Academy Stadium crowd in attendance and many more watching on ITV4.

“It’s great for the players to know that the fans are fully behind them. You heard the noise when we got the equaliser and everyone in the crowd sensed that we might get another. It wasn’t to be but we’ll hope to see fans at Stamford Bridge as well.”

Stand-in captain Ed Francis insists he and his teammates warmed to the challenge presented by Chelsea throughout the first leg and will be ready come kick-off on Wednesday night.

“The second half has given us the belief and the courage to take into the second leg and we believe we can get the better of this Chelsea side and win it now,” said Francis, who is wearing the armband in the absence of the injured Joel Latibeaudiere.

“It would be a massive achievement for all of us to lift the trophy and it was one of the goals we set at the start of the season. It would be the cherry on the cake to have the captain’s armband on for it as well but it would be huge for all of us to lift the trophy.”

Head to the ticket office to book your seat at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Academy News

Lethal Lukas: Nmecha's Youth Cup goal haul

NMECHA: City's striker battles hard during the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final with Chelsea

Manchester City U18s striker Lukas Nmecha has netted an incredible 10 goals so far in this year's FA Youth Cup and there's still chance for him to get more.

A look through Lukas Nmecha's strikes in the FA Youth Cup 2016/17.

Academy News

Francis proud of City character in first leg draw

FRANCIS: City's captain believes his teammates showed a steely character in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final

Manchester City U18s defender Ed Francis has praised the mentality of his teammates after they came from behind to claim a draw in the FA Youth Cup final first leg.

Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo opened the scoring for the visitors at the Academy Stadium on Tuesday night but Phil Foden’s drilled shot across goal levelled the scores with 30 minutes left to play.

Academy News

Carsley: Foden is vital to Youth Cup hopes

CARSLEY: Manchester City's U18 boss oversees the warm up ahead of the FA Youth Cup final

Manchester City U18s boss Lee Carsley believes Phil Foden will be crucial in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final.

Lee Carsley's reaction to Manchester City v Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup final first leg.