Latics return to EFL Youth Alliance action on Saturday morning when they host Port Vale at Christopher Park.
- Academy Preview: Port Vale v Latics
- Latics drew 0-0 in their last EFL Youth Alliance game earlier this month against Fleetwood Town.
- The two teams last met in November, with Latics held to a 1-1 draw.
*This is officially an away fixture for Latics, with a venue switch to Christopher Park*
Latics Under 18s return to EFL Youth Alliance action this weekend when they welcome Port Vale to Christopher Park, with Peter Murphy’s side hoping to extend their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Despite going winless in their last three Youth Alliance games, Latics will be hoping to build on their 2-0 victory over Bury in the EFL Youth Alliance Area final last-time out.
Goals from Will McGuffie and England youth international, Joe Gelhardt ended a barren run in front of goal for Latics, with the latter’s goal ensuring they booked their place in the National Final against Exeter, along with the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final also set to take place at the end of the campaign.
Latics will be hoping to get back to winning ways following three consecutive draws against Fleetwood Town (0-0), Morecambe (0-0) and Tranmere Rovers (1-1), though, two wins from their last three games at Christopher Park, including ten goals scored, stands the hosts in good stead ahead of Saturday’s fixture.
The two teams last met in November 2018, with Latics being held at Christopher Park despite Charlie Jolley’s well taken opener early in the first half.
Visitors, Port Vale currently sit 13th in the EFL Youth Alliance table, just four points adrift off the bottom-placed Accrington Stanley.
The Valiants have struggled for form in the Youth Alliance with four defeats from their last five matches, though, an impressive 3-1 victory over fifth-placed Bury will give Latics’ opponents some much-needed confidence ahead of their trip on Saturday morning.
Under 18’s coach, Peter Murphy, will be without youth international stars Joe Gelhardt (England), Jensen Weir (England), Bobby Jones (Republic of Ireland) and Mackenzie O’Neill (Northern Ireland).
Jones, who became Latics’ seventh active youth international, earned his first call-up for his native country last week, whilst Weir and Gelhardt were both involved for the Young Lions in Thursday’s UEFA U17 European Championship qualifiers victory over Denmark.
Midfielder O’Neill is also set to be involved in Under 17 European Championship action when Northern Ireland face Czech Republic and Israel next week.