Peterborough United to take on Chelsea- the best pressing team Grant McCann has seen seen this season

Grant McCann is well-versed in the dangers that Chelsea Under 21s will pose in the Papa John’s Trophy tie on Tuesday (November 23).
Malik Mothersille celebrates with Chelsea teammates after scoring in the FA Youth Cup (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images).Malik Mothersille celebrates with Chelsea teammates after scoring in the FA Youth Cup (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images).
Malik Mothersille celebrates with Chelsea teammates after scoring in the FA Youth Cup (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images).

Chelsea currently sit fourth in their Premier League 2 group, trailing Manchester City, Liverpool as well as leaders Arsenal by just a point. They have not lost in any of their last ten matches.

In their last outing, they beat Spurs Under 21s 3-0. Posh beat the same Spurs side by the same scoreline in the group stage- Jack Marriott (2) and Ricky-Jade Jones scored the goals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chelsea impressed in the group phase by winning 3-2 away at runaway League Two leaders Leyton Orient and 2-1 away at League One Oxford after losing their opener 1-0 at Sutton.

They still topped the group though and had the chance to host Tuesday’s second round tie before choosing to reverse it.

Grant McCann was full of praise for the Young Blues- calling them the best pressing team his staff has analysed this season.

He said: “We’ve done a lot of work on them and they are probably one of the best-pressing teams we’ve analysed this season. They’re high energy, they will come after you. They have got really good footballers. They’re an elite academy and they’ve beaten Leyton Orient and Oxford in this competition already.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I imagine it will be quite a similar team they played in the group stages. I spoke to Lucas and he thinks the same; that they want the young players to learn from the experience of playing against the league teams- we found that a little bit against Tottenham.

“It is in the middle of the World Cup though and there have been players left behind. We’ll be open to expecting something different and we’ll just have to see. It’s very hard to plan for this game given the amount of players they have and the amount of times they change the team in academy games.

“We’ve seen them play in two different formations but it’s really about us and what we do and how we react to a disappointing performance at the weekend.”

There has been some suggestion that some of Chelsea’ players that have not been selected for the World Cup could be involved in the squad but this is unlikely given that Graham Potter has given his players two weeks off before they must report back to Cobham ahead of a warm-weather training camp in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Opposition view

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Before joining Posh on loan, Lucas Bergstrom’s only previous experience of men’s football had come in three matches for the Chelsea youth side in this competition over the last two seasons.

The side have been heavily linked with Ronnie Edwards ever since the summer and even came close to making a move on deadline day but could not agree a price with Posh. They are expected to reignite their interest either in January or the summer.

They are managed by Michael Robinson, who spent 14 months in charge of AFC Wimbledon between January 2021 and March 2022.

Posh played Wimbledon in one of Robinson’s first matches after being given the job permanently in February as won 3-0 at the Weston Homes Stadium thanks to a Sammie Szmodics double and a 90th-minute effort from Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Malik Mothersille is Chelsea’s top scorer in the competition with two goals but the star man has been Omari Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, despite only being 19 years old, the winger made his Jamaica debut in the same match at Jonson Clarke-Harris in May. Both started the 6-0 defeat against Catalonia on May 25.

£20m summer signing- and Euro U19 winning teammate of Ronnie Edwards- Carney Chukwuemeka is expected to miss out with a hamstring injury.