Under-18s preview: Home run tested

Our table-topping youth team return to Cobham in the Under-18 Premier League this lunchtime (Saturday), live on Chelsea TV.

The young Blues have an opportunity to extend both their six-point advantage at the top of the southern section and their 1,015-day, 48-game unbeaten run at home in all competitions, with Aston Villa the visitors for a 12.05pm kick-off.

Jody Morris's side have won 10, drawn one and lost one of their dozen league outings so far this term, establishing themselves at the top of the regional table ahead of London rivals Arsenal. In a change to the league format this season, there will be no merit round of fixtures at the end of the campaign, in which the top four sides from the northern and southern sections were pitted against each other to determine the national champions.

Instead, the north and south winners will play each other in a one-legged play-off final. Our youngsters will be intent on reaching that stage as they seek to defend the national title they won last May.

Villa were the only side to take points off us at Cobham last season, a 0-0 draw in January the only chink in an otherwise flawless home campaign. Goals from Charlie Brown and George McEachran helped us to a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture on the opening weekend of 2017/18 back in August.

The last Chelsea youth team home defeat was way back in April 2015. Click below to examine the remarkable run in numbers and then tune in to Chelsea TV from midday to see if we can edge closer to a half-century of undefeated matches.

In other Under-18s news, the FA Youth Cup fifth round draw was made yesterday and has handed Morris’s men a trip to either Bournemouth or Tottenham if they can overcome West Brom in round four next week. The Baggies visit Aldershot on Wednesday 17 January, kick-off 7pm, and tickets can be purchased on the door priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. Chelsea TV will no longer be broadcasting this game live due to the scheduling clash with our first team’s FA Cup replay against Norwich City.