Chelsea are favourites going into this year’s FA Youth Cup Final as they defeated holders Manchester United last week in the semi-finals.
Blackburn Rovers are their opponents who are hoping to bring some pride to a season that has seen their first-team woefully fighting with relegation.
Stamford Bridge will host the first leg of the final on Friday 20th April whilst Ewood Park hosts the return leg on Wednesday 9th May.
Chelsea have a wealth of international, multi-million pound talent in their academy squad including the man who fired them into the final – Lucas Piazon.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder scored Chelsea’s equaliser in their semi final tie which saw them beat the Red Devils 3-2 on aggregate.
Since his move from Sao Paolo in 2011, the Brazil youth international has came under criticism for the speed of his progression through the Chelsea ranks but his performance in the semi final gave hope to many Blues supporters and began to justify his reported £5million transfer fee, which could rise to around £10million depending on clauses.
He has been on the substitutes bench twice this season but is yet to make his first-team debut. Having a player like this in their Youth Cup squad is a huge benefit for the Blues and a huge advantage over Blackburn coming into the final.
The man trying to stop Piazon in the penultimate stage of the competition will be Blackburn Rover’s skipper Ryan Edwards. He has been a rock at the heart of the Blackburn Rovers Academy defence this season. The almost ever-present centre back also has a knack for goal as he scored the winner that sent Blackburn into the final, scoring the second in the 2-0 victory over Burnley.
Piazon is not the only upcoming star in the Chelsea squad. Islam Feruz is another one to watch as he scored a superb goal in the first-leg of their semi final. Chelsea could also parade the comically named Nortei Nortey in the final.
The last time these two sides met was in the FA Youth Cup semi-final two years ago when the London side ran out 5-0 winners on aggregate.
On paper, a repeat of this result would not be unsurprising but the northern side have shown incredible team spirit throughout this tournament which they’ll hope can inspire them to pick up their first ever FA Youth Cup trophy.