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Explained: How U18s could win league and U23s' next play-off step

7 May 2021

Crystal Palace’s Under-18s and Under-23s have everything still to play for as the season nears its end – we’ve got all the details you need to know below.

Under-18s' title race goes to the wire

Palace U18s are looking to win the U18 Premier League South title on Saturday as they take on West Bromwich Albion in their final game of the season. Here's how things stand:

U18s Premier League South P GD Pts
Crystal Palace U18s 23 +29 53
Fulham U18s 22 +47 50

So how does that affect this weekend's action?

  • Palace U18s come into the weekend three points clear of Fulham, but Fulham have a far better goal difference.
  • Fulham have a game in hand on the Eagles, meaning Saturday is only their penultimate game of the season.
  • If Palace beat West Brom and if Fulham drop points in either of their next two, Palace win the league.
  • If Palace draw against West Brom and Fulham fail to win both of their last two, Palace win the league.
  • If Palace lose against West Brom and Fulham draw or lose both of their games, Palace win the league.
  • If Palace lose against West Brom and Fulham win either of their games, Fulham win the league.
  • If Fulham win both their games, Palace would almost certainly finish second on goal difference whatever their West Brom result.

If the U18s win the league, they will then face the winners of the Northern Division - Manchester City or Manchester United - in a single play-off game to determine the overall winner of the 2020/21 U18 Premier League.

Palace U18s v Chelsea 04 Mooney Omilabu.jpg

Victory in the final would mean qualification for the UEFA Youth League, the youth competition running parallel to the Champions League which would see the Eagles come up against the best young sides from across the continent.

Remember, you can watch Palace's final game of the season LIVE on the club's official YouTube channel here.

Got it? Well, Palace Under-23s have it all to play for too, having landed a place in their league's play-offs. 

Under-23s' play-off battle

Crystal Palace Under-23s have secured a play-off place in the Premier League 2 Division 2 after a 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough on Friday.

Now that the Eagles have qualified for the play-offs, who they face next is still up in the air. We’ll try to explain what happens next as well as we can.

Here we go…

  • Palace U23s won their game on Friday, meaning they move up to third place.
  • Stoke City have qualified for the play-offs in second place.
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers, fourth, Boro, fifth and Sunderland, sixth, are still vying for a play-off spot.
  • On Monday, Wolves face Reading and Sunderland play Stoke.
Premier League 2 - Division 2 P GD Pts
Leeds United U23s (C) 24 +33 56
Stoke City U23s 23 +11 44
Crystal Palace U23s 24 +4 36
Wolverhampton Wanderers U23s 23 +4 35
Middlesbrough U23s  23 +9 34
Sunderland U23s 24 +1 34
Burnley U23s 24 -3 34

Still with us?

Palace have qualified for the play-offs, but who they play is up in the air until Monday when the other games are played out…

  • If Wolves win and Sunderland win then we qualify in fifth place.
  • If Wolves draw and Sunderland win then we qualify in fourth place.
  • If Wolves draw and Sunderland draw then we qualify in third place.
  • If Wolves lose and Sunderland draw then we qualify in third place.
  • If Wolves draw and Sunderland lose then we qualify in third on goals scored.
  • If Wolves lose and Sunderland lose then we qualify in third place (and Boro go through with us, despite losing).

CRYMID O'Brien winner.jpg

Why does this matter?

The position the Eagles finish in determines who they play next in the play-off round - second plays fifth and third plays fourth.

Palace will have a single semi-final play-off against either Stoke, Wolves, Boro or Sunderland. If they go through and win the final, they are promoted to the 2021/22 Premier League 2 Division 1.

That should clear everything up ahead of these exciting fixtures for both the Development and Academy squads. 

READ NEXT: U23s' Sion Spence picks season highlight as Palace near dramatic final game

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