Tonight, under the lights of Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace Under-18s take on Bolton Wanderers in their bid to advance to the next stage of the FA Youth Cup and below, we've got all you need to know ahead of the match on both the prestigious youth tournament and next generation of Palace stars.
What is the FA Youth Cup?
The FA Youth Cup is a competition founded by the FA in 1952 for those aged 15-18 on August 31 the year it commences for clubs who have a recognised youth team competing in a recognised youth league or competition. It allows younger players to participate in a national competition and is considered to be the most prestigious piece of silverware available to that age group.
How did Palace get there?
The Eagles defeated Cogenhoe United U18s 2-1 in December thanks to goals from TQ Addy and Pierrick Keutcha, which earned them a place in this year's fourth round. It was their first match in the competition, as they entered following four qualifying rounds for lower-league teams.
What happens in this round and will it go to penalties?
This round, as with every other, will consist of a 90-minute match incorporating all the usual rules of the game. If after 90 minutes the result is a draw, then an additional 30-minute period of extra-time will be played before a penalty shoot-out if the scores are still level at that point.
What happens next?
If Palace run-out as victors at Selhurst, they will progress to the next round of the cup where they will face either Leicester City or Crewe Alexandra at home. The tournament format is a series of knock-out rounds, so if they continue to win, Palace will play against progressively fewer teams until the final, which will take place in the Spring.
How have the U18s done this season?
The Palace Under-18s have enjoyed mixed success this season, and currently sit in 8th place in the Professional Development League South. They won the league in the last campaign but have competed with a mixed squad this year, often allowing older players to feature for the Under-23s instead.
However, they have recorded some impressive victories such as opening the season with a 5-0 home win over Hull City.
Who should I look out for?
The Palace Under-18s squad is replete with quality young players. Those who are beginning to step up to Richard Shaw's Under-23 set-up are perhaps those to keep an eye on, however, and the likes of TQ Addy, Rob Street, Brandon Aveiro and Pierrick Keutcha have been regularly joining the U23s while David Boateng and Sean Robertson have also been impressing at that level for some time now.
Who has won the FA Youth Cup the most?
Manchester United have dominated the competition over the course of its history, having won it 10 times with teams such as the Busby Babes and Class of '92. Chelsea are close behind them, however, having won the tournament nine times while Arsenal have won seven.
Who are the current champions?
Chelsea won the most recent FA Youth Cup when they beat Arsenal 7-1 on aggregate to claim the trophy. However, the Blues were knocked out by United earlier in the year and so are no longer competing for this season's silverware.
How have Palace performed over the years and when did we last win it?
Palace have won the cup twice and finished runners-up twice as well. In the late 1970s, the Eagles won back-to-back competitions in 1977 and '78 with what would later become the 'Team of the 80s'. Their first triumph came against Everton when Terry Fenwick netted to take the 1976/77 trophy before a single Fenwick goal was scored again the next year against Aston Villa to claim victory for the second year running.
Since then, the Eagles haven't won the cup but have finished runners-up twice, firstly in 1991/92 and then in 1996/97 when they lost to Manchester United's Class of '92 and Leeds United respectively.
Who has played for Palace in the competition?
The Eagles have seen a vast array of talent line-up for them in the FA Youth Cup, from just years after its inception right up to the current day.
Perhaps the earliest stand-out name for the Eagles was Johnny Byrne, who played in the tournament in 1955 and '56 before going on to feature over 200 times for the Palace first-team.
Following in his footsteps were the likes of Steve Kember, Jim Cannon, Dave Swindelhurst, Paul Hinshelwood, Kenny Sansom, Billy Gilbert, Vince Hilaire, Richard Shaw, Gareth Southgate, Dean Gordon and Clinton Morrison.
And in more recent years, current Premier League stars such as Victor Moses, Nathaniel Clyne, Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have also featured in red and blue in the Youth Cup, with the latter of these four playing most recently in 2016.
If you want to find out how the next generation of Palace stars get on at Selhurst tonight, click here to buy your tickets now.