Pre-match: Brighton & Hove Albion U23s v Liverpool U23s, Premier League 2 Division 1, Friday 10th August 1900hrs BST

Sweeting

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The Reds
Liverpool head into this game after a slightly wobbly pre-season campaign consisting of two draws and a defeat to Rapid Vienna.
The Reds are however likely to be boosted by the return of several key players who have spent time participating in the 1st team's pre-season.
Last season Liverpool were pipped to the post by Arsenal, after a dominant first half of the season the U23s were badly affected by a mixture of squad promotions, loans and injuries which saw them fall away with the title in sight. The group is another year older and are expected to push hard for the title once again this time out.
The squad is, however, threadbare and will rely heavily on U18 eligible players such as Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Abdi Sharif being capable of stepping up and supporting the core players.

Form
Liverpool kicked off pre-season with a 1-1 draw with Gyor, before a 2-1 defeat to Rapid Vienna and rounded off their pre-season with a 2-2 draw to Paris St Germain.

How They Line Up
GK: Kamil Grabara
RB: Connor Randall
CB: Corey Whelan
CB: George Johnston
LB: Tony Gallacher
DM: Elijah Dixon-Bonner
CM: Matthew Virtue-Thick
CM: Isaac Christie-Davies
RW: Bobby Adekanye
LW: Liam Millar
CF: Glen McAuley


Glen McAuley has been amongst the goals in pre-season.





The Opposition
Brighton are real unknown this season, without big name prospects peppering the academy, Brighton have taken a slightly more scatterboard approach to player selection at this level and used 56 players in just twenty-two games in 17/18. This is consistent with a high usage rate by Brighton since the reformation of the reserves league took place early in the decade and once again this looks set to continue with Brighton continuing to throw darts at a board and hope one sticks – in terms of developing first team talent.
Promotion from Divison Two last season came courtesy of a superb end of season run which saw them win nine of their last ten games including a 2-0 play-off final victory away at Aston Villa. They also fought their way past the likes of Whitehawk, Pagham and Crawley to claim the Sussex Senior Cup.
Chris Hughton is aware the general quality of Brighton’s youth system is in need of an upgrade and is in the midst of ruthlessly culling those who are clearly not up to scratch whilst raiding the Scandinavian market for more recruits.

Form
As with most U23s sides, Brighton have only turned out in a couple of official friendly fixtures, which have produced an underwhelming 2-1 defeat to Bognor Regis Town and a 1-0 defeat with Heywards Heath Town in the Sussex Community Shield. The Brighton sides selected for both of these fixtures were largely U19s squads.

Brighton’s competitive form has been nothing short of sensational however and they should produce a stern test for Liverpool on Friday.


Brighton celebrate success at Villa Park after an impressive play-off final win.

How They Line Up
GK: Hugo Keto
RB: Owen Moore
CB: Ben Barclay
CB: Josh Kerr
LB: George Cox
DM: Max Sanders
CM: Daniel Mandriou
CM: James Tilley
RW: Anders Dreyer
LW: Viktor Gyokeres
CF: Aaron Connelly

Key Player
Viktor Gyokeres

Swedish forward Gyokeres joined Brighton from Brommapojkarna, where he was a first team footballer, for £1m in the winter of 2018 and was a massive part of the incredible turn around in fortunes at youth level. He scored seven goals in nine appearances, including a brace in the 3-0 Playoff semi-final win over Middlesbrough. The young winger has since gone on Brighton’s first team pre-season tour and scored the winner in a 1-0 win over Nice.
A loan is possible, and perhaps most beneficial, at this time but so far Brighton have held on to the player who has quickly established himself as their brightest prospect.
 
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Arminius

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#2
Interesting - the only name I recognize there is Connor Randall. I will be very interested to see how much they can tap the U18s.

Are you going to this match?
 

Sweeting

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#3
Interesting - the only name I recognize there is Connor Randall. I will be very interested to see how much they can tap the U18s.

Are you going to this match?
I won't be no, Brighton is a bit of a trek for me! I'll be at the Lancashire T20 tonight.

If you're looking for exciting talent in that group above then I'd look at Liam Millar and Bobby Adekanye out wide - both super fast and get plenty of goals.
 

Sweeting

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#4
Game just started

LFC XI
Grabara
N. Williams Whelan Johnstone Lewis
Christie-Davies Chirivella Virtue-Thick
Adekanye McAuley Ojo

Subs: Atherton; Juanma, Coyle, Masterson, Millar
 

ILLOK

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What's going on? Kick off delayed?

Looking forward to watching the fullbacks. That Williams looked great on the couple of occasions i saw him last year and Lewis' quality is well documented.
 

Redopium

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What's going on? Kick off delayed?

Looking forward to watching the fullbacks. That Williams looked great on the couple of occasions i saw him last year and Lewis' quality is well documented.
Game was delayed 45 mins after downpours had the pitch flooded.