The tournament also features five Premier League youth teams.

The Premier League’s deep-rooted relationship with India’s top flight league Indian Super League (ISL) has led to the emergence of the Premier League NextGen Cup. The Next Gen Cup 2022 is all set to start on July 27 in the United Kingdom.

The youth teams of Indian Super League clubs will get a chance to test their mettle against the youth teams of Premier League clubs. Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC will represent India at the global forum following their success at the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL).

With the tourney not far away from making its debut in the United Kingdom, we take a look at what it is all about.

About the Tournament

As mentioned above, the Next Gen Cup is a by-product of the ISL’s long standing relationship with the Premier League. The tournament is a first of its kind to feature the developmental sides of ISL and PL clubs. 

It will allow the young guns of ISL to unleash their potential on the global stage for everyone to see. The tournament started two years ago in Navi Mumbai where the youth sides of Premier League clubs went head-to-head against the youth sides of ISL clubs.

Chelsea’s U-14 side emerged as the inaugural champions of the NextGen Cup in 2020. 

This year the FSDL conducted its first RF Developmental League where seven ISL sides and the RF Youth Champs went up against each other for a place at the NextGen Cup. While Bengaluru FC were crowned champions, Kerala Blasters finished as the runners up and sealed a trip to the UK.

The latest edition of the NextGen Cup will feature five youth teams of Premier League clubs, two youth teams from the ISL and one academy side from South Africa.

Teams

A total of eight teams are participating in the 2022 edition of the Next Gen Cup. The Premier League youth teams include – West Ham United, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur. South Africa’s academy side Stellenbosch FC are the other team apart from Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC.

Midlands Group (A)– Bengaluru FC, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Stellenbosch FC

London Group (B)- Crystal Palace, Kerala Blasters FC, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United

Fixtures

July 27

Midlands Group A

Leicester City 6-3 Bengaluru FC, Action Replay | Match Report

Nottingham Forest 1-4 Stellenbosch FC, 10:20 PM IST

London Group B

Tottenham Hotspur 7-0 Kerala Blasters, Action Replay | Match Report

Crystal Palace 3-4 West Ham United

July 30

Midlands Group A

3rd Place: Kerala Blasters 1-4 Crystal Palace

Watch: Crystal Palace vs Kerala Blasters Live

Final: West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur, 5:30 PM IST

London Group B

3rd Place: Bengaluru FC 1-6 Nottingham Forest

Watch: BFC Vs NFC live here

Final: Leicester City vs Stellenbosch FC, 6:00 PM IST

Venues

The matches will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur ground for Group B. For Group A the matches will be played at the Leicester City ground.

Format

The tournament will feature eight teams in total, five from the United Kingdom (Premier League), two from India and one from South Africa. Teams have been divided into two groups of four teams each. There will only be one group stage match for all teams which means there’ll be no time to settle. 

The winners of the first match will play the winner of the second match in a group finale, while the loser of the first match will play the loser of the second match to decide the 3rd and 4th placed teams.

Telecast/Live Streaming Details

The Premier League YouTube channel will live stream all matches involving the ISL youth teams. Additionally, the Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters’ YouTube channels as well as the FB page of BFC will be live streaming their respective teams’ matches.

Squads

Bengaluru FC

Goalkeepers: Dipesh Chauhan, Sharon Padattil.
Defenders: Felixson Fernandes, Clarence Fernandes, Robin Yadav, Namgyal Bhutia, Rajanbir Singh, Tomthinganba Meetei.
Midfielders: Kamalesh Palanisamy, Bekey Oram, Shighil Nambrath, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Lalhmingchuanga Fanai, Lalremtuanga Fanai.
Strikers: Lalpekhlua, Monirul Molla, Ankith Padmanabhan, Thoi Singh, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Akashdeep Singh.

Kerala Blasters

Goalkeepers: Sachin Suresh, Muhammed Murshid, Muheet Shabir Khan.
Defenders: Muhammed Basith, Hormipam Ruivah, Bijoy V, Tejas Krishna, Marvan Hussain, Sherin Salari, Aritra Das.
Midfielders: Muhammed Jasim, Jeakson Singh, Ayush Adhikari, Givson Singh, Mohammed Azhar.
Forwards: Muhammed Ajsal, Mohammed Aimen, Nihal Sudheesh.

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