Manchester United and Nottingham Forest are set to face off for the Youth Cup in front of the biggest FA Cup crowd of the season so far at Old Trafford.
After eliminating Chelsea in the thriller 3-1, Forest found themselves facing the next generation of Manchester United in their first-ever Youth Cup final.
And if the intensity of playing at Old Trafford wasn’t enough, making the final will increase the pressure for Warren Joyce’s side.
The last cup hurdle was completely sold out and could eclipse the competition’s biggest ever turnout which was a whopping 72,911 for Man United against Aston Villa.
So, with thousands and thousands of spectators, which young people will shine at the Théâtre des Rêves?
talkSPORT EDGE take a look at the promising starlets for this blockbuster match…
Alejandro Garnacho, 17, Forward
After being called up to the Argentina national team and sharing the same pitch with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi during training, Garnacho was talked about.
The striker flew in the Youth Cup, scoring an incredible five goals, including against Leicester in the quarter-finals with a 25-yard free kick.
Fun fact: Garnacho celebrated the goal by copying his idol Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘Siu’ celebration.
Kobbie Mainoo, 17, midfielder
Known as the ‘King of Nutmeg’, Kobbie Mainoo has proven to be one of the most talented players in the youth team, having scored four goals and provided two assists in 30 appearances this season.
The 17-year-old effortlessly leads the team through crucial moments and works exceptionally well with teammate Daniel Gore in midfield.
Sam Mather, 17, winger
Scoring in the early rounds of the Youth Cup against Scunthorpe, Reading and Everton, Mather signed his professional contract with United in September.
The 17-year-old was also called up to the England Under-18 squad earlier this season and already has one goal and two assists for his country.
Detlef Esapa Osong, 17, Forward
Man United will have to watch this dangerous striker closely.
Scoring two goals in the Youth Cup quarter-final against Blackburn and scoring two late-game decisive goals in the semi-final, Osong is one of Forest’s prolific players.
After signing his first professional contract in September, Reds head of coaching and player development Jody Caudwell heaped praise on the 17-year-old: “We think he has a bright future at the football club. .
“Esapa has great potential in his position which he shows in training and in games week after week.”
Zach Abbott, 15, defender
Don’t be fooled by Abbott’s age!
The versatile defender not only impressed in the Youth Cup run but also made his mark at international level.
The 15-year-old played for England’s Under-16 side at the Montaigu Tournament last month, starting games against the Netherlands and Brazil.
Forest manager Warren Joyce said: “He worked his way into our team through his performance in training. He showed a great attitude, he has a huge desire to learn and to surpass himself.
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