Arsenal kicked off their u17 Premier League Cup campaign with a win over Norwich City on Tuesday, with Khayon Edwards grabbing the winning goal.
In a break from the regular league action, an Arsenal academy side took on Norwich City in the u17 Premier League Cup on Tuesday.
Mauro Bandeira and Taylor Foran confirmed on their social media pages ahead of the game that they’d join the squad for the match. Bandeira played for the u18s at the weekend, whilst Foran is an u18 regular who made his u23 debut on Saturday in bizarre fashion.
They were joined by the likes of Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Remy Mitchell and Khayon Edwards in the lineup against Norwich, with Edwards scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 victory. It was a tight and hard-fought win to kick off the campaign with three points.
What is the u17 Premier League Cup?
The u17 Premier League Cup is a new competition for this season, and represents an opportunity for some of the younger members of the u18 squad to get some games. It’s replacing the u18 version of the competition for the current campaign, and combining it with the u16 edition.
There’s no recognised Arsenal u17 team, so the teams will be made up of players from those u16 and u18 sides.
As we’ve seen in the first game, a lot of players from the u18s are dropping down. The likes of Edwards, Bandeira and Foran are regularly involved with the older sides this season. But it also gives chances to fringe players like Mitchell, making his first appearance of the season.
Arsenal drew Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City in Group A, as well as Norwich City of course. The opening group match took place at London Colney at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday, with the other two to follow on 24th November and 19th-20th January.
The competition will follow a similar format to the u18 version of the cup. There’s a group stage where each team plays the others once, followed by a knockout stage with the group winners and the top runners-up across the groups.
With seven groups in the competition, one of the runners-up has to go through to complete the quarter-final knockout bracket. But it’s not much of a safety net, because you have to achieve a better points total than every runner-up in the other six groups.
So there’s little room for error, and Arsenal will be happy they got off to a winning start against Norwich City.