Crystal Palace Under-18s have been flying high at the top of the Premier League South this season, and they can make it five wins in a row with victory over Norwich City on Saturday, 20th February.
Goals from Victor Akinwale and Jesurun Rak Sakyi secured a 2-0 victory over Fulham at the beginning of the month, which extended their lead at the top - you can see them continue the charge aginst Norwich LIVE on the club's official YouTube channel tomorrow.
The confidence is flowing through a side that believe they can go on and challenge for the title. “I think we’re the best team in the country at our age,” said Fionn Mooney, after signing professional terms on his 17th birthday, “I want to win the league.”
After a brilliant start to the season, Palace were brought back down to earth with a disappointing defeat to Fleetwood Town in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup – but top scorer David Omilabu has claimed this has only increased the motivation to secure the title.
Omilabu has scored 9 goals in 12 games for the U18s this season, and has begun making his mark on the U23s too, scoring the winner against Burnley at Selhurst Park on Monday.
Alongside Akinwale and Mooney, he is part of a lethal Palace front-line which no side has managed to keep out so far in the campaign.
The Eagles last met Norwich in mid-October, travelling to Norfolk for what proved to be a real blockbuster. Trailing 2-0 at half-time, they mounted a spirited comeback, with Victor Akinwale scoring a brace and Omilabu converting from the spot to take all three points.
Norwich sit 8th in the table having started the season slowly, losing six of their first eight games. They’ve looked a resurgent side since then however, and have now won four of their last six, scoring 19 goals in that time.
The winner of the Premier League South meet their northern counterparts in the final, with the victors not only claiming the trophy, but qualifying for European football next season via the UEFA Youth League.
Fulham’s impressive 5-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday has reduced Palace’s lead at the top to a single point – albeit with a game in hand – and demonstrates they still have a long way to go to prove themselves the best young side in the country.
Victory against Norwich on Saturday would be the latest step in that journey.