EDS kick off league campaign against defending champions
- 31 July 2014 15:00
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
City Elite Development Squad will face reigning champions Chelsea away from home on the opening day of the new Barclays U21 Premier League season.
That means Patrick Vieira’s men will get a shot at revenge against the team that knocked them out of the play-offs on penalties in May.
This encounter will take place on Friday 15 August at Aldershot Town FC.
In addition, the Premier League have announced that, for the first time ever, u21 Premier League matches will regularly be shown live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
City’s clash with Chelsea will be followed by the first home match of the campaign against Sunderland at Hyde on Sunday 24 August, before a home match against Norwich on 12 September and an away fixture at Anfield against Liverpool on 22 September.
The home u21 Manchester derby will take place on 14 December, while the away game against United is pencilled in for 11 May at Old Trafford.
Fans will have the opportunity to see their club’s future stars like never before with more matches taking place at club’s main stadia.
As it stands, City are down to play at Anfield, Carrow Road, the King Power Stadium, Old Trafford and Upton Park.
There’s also a new format for the new campaign which sees last year’s 22-team league split into two.
City’s fourth place finish means that they stay in the top division and will face their ten top-half peers (plus Spurs*) home and away, over the course of the next nine months.
At the end of the campaign, the bottom two teams will be relegated to Division Two.
The Premier League have announced that they will work with title sponsor Barclays to insert the look and feel of a Premier League match into the U21 Premier League.
This will include the player handshake, perimeter advertising, interview backdrops and more.
“The enhancements to the Barclays Under-21 Premier League will undoubtedly improve the competition and provide high level playing opportunities for young players that better prepare them for Premier League football," Ged Roddy, Premier League Director of Youth, said.
“Players who want to succeed at the highest levels of the game need experience of playing in stadia in front of crowds, in front of live broadcast cameras and in environments that test them in a variety of different ways."
...Ged Roddy, Premier League Director of Youth...
“The Barclays Under-21 Premier League will certainly offer that this season and I can’t wait for it to start.”
It promises to be a busy season for the EDS, with a young squad also competing in the UEFA Youth League for the second successive season.
You can watch the boys in action for the first time this season when they take on Manchester United in the Manchester Senior Cup on 7 August.
- Due to the addition of two new teams (Brighton and Derby) to Division Two, Spurs have been promoted to the top division.
Fixtures may change due to broadcasting.