The Sky Blues take on Southampton U21s on Tuesday night, knowing a win will see them progress out of the group stages. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.
Name: Southampton U21s
Founded: 1885 (Southampton Football Club)
Stadium: Staplewood Campus
Nickname: The Saints
Address: Long Lane, Marchwood, Hampshire, SO40 4WR
Southampton U21s have lost both of their Leasing.com Trophy fixtures this season. They were beaten 3-2 by Forest Green Rovers in September before going down 1-0 to Walsall last month.
They currently play in Premier League 2 Division 1, after winning promotion from Division 2 last season via the play-offs.
Saints academy has produced a number of talented players in the past including the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Former Saints defender Radhi Jaidi is currently in charge of the club’s U21 team.
Jaidi made over 100 international appearances for Tunisia during his playing career as well as having distinguished spells with Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City before finishing his career with Saints.
The 44-year-old won the competition with Southampton as a player, back in the 2009/10 season.
He remained with the club in a non-playing capacity, following his retirement, and became lead coach of the academy squad in 2017.
Jaidi led the team to the semi-finals of the U23 Premier League International Cup last season, having also earned promotion to the top tier of academy football domestically.
Last Six Games
Lost – Walsall 1-0 Southampton (Leasing.com Trophy)
Drew – Southampton 1-1 Stoke City (Premier League Cup)
Lost – Southampton 1-3 Blackburn Rovers (Premier League 2)
Lost – Leicester City 3-0 Southampton (Premier League 2)
Lost – Southampton 1-2 Feyenoord (Premier League International Cup)
Lost – Southampton 1-4 Brighton & Hove Albion (Premier League 2)
Republic of Ireland international Leon Best started his professional career with Southampton before then enjoying three-year stint with the Sky Blues from 2007-2010.
He was a member of the Southampton side that reached the F.A. Youth Cup final in 2005, losing on aggregate to Ipswich Town, despite Best scoring in the first leg.
Best managed four goals in 15 appearances for Saints across three seasons and had four loan spells away from St Mary’s during his time on the South Coast.
He joined City on a permanent basis ahead of the 2007/08 campaign and played just shy of 100 league games for the club, scoring 19 goals, earning prominence amongst the Sky Blues faithful for wearing a protective mask even after recovering from a cheekbone fracture.
The Irishman was sold to Newcastle United in January 2009 and scored 10 goals in the Premier League during a three-year spell in the North East.
He later enjoyed spells with Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Brighton, Rotherham United, Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic and has been without a club since leaving the Addicks in January 2018.
Jordan Turnbull spent six years with Saints academy from 2007-2013 but failed to make a senior league appearance for the club.
After two seasons on loan with Swindon Town he signed for the Sky Blues in August 2016 and made 36 appearances for City before being loaned to Scottish side Partick Thistle ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
He was sold to Northampton Town in January 2018 and is still with the Cobblers, enjoying a fine start to the 2019/20 season having scored four goals in 14 league appearances this term.
Ben Toner will be the referee for Tuesday night’s clash against Southampton U21s.
Toner has officiated in 13 EFL matches this season including two Leasing.com Trophy fixtures, handing out 40 yellow cards and three cards so far.
He last officiated the Sky Blues in October 2018 when City were 2-1 winners away at Charlton.
Ian Dudley and Abbas Khan will assist Toner on Tuesday night, with Oliver Bickle acting as fourth official.