Evangelos Vellios is expecting today’s crunch clash against West Ham United to be one of the games of the tournament at the 2023 Premier League Next Generation Cup.
It will be a battle of the titans at Reliance Corporate Park in Mumbai on Tuesday when reigning Premier League Next Generation Cup champions Stellenbosch FC take on England’s FA Youth Cup final champions West Ham United in the final Group A encounter.
Stellies currently top the group following back-to-back wins over India’s Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, and could reach a second consecutive Next Gen final with victory over the Hammers.
“Today is our final group game and it pretty much feels like a semi-final,” Vellios said ahead of the match. “Obviously, we know that if we avoid defeat we will have the opportunity to play in the final but we are relishing the chance to test ourselves against the reigning FA Youth champions.
Stellenbosch FC will qualify for the final of this year’s Premier League Next Generation Cup if the team achieves a victory or draw against West Ham United on Tuesday.
“It will be a great test for our young players who will be competing against some of the best in the world so it’s a great opportunity for them, and I really have full faith in them. I think we have prepared well and we’re ready to go and compete.
“It’s going to be an interesting game. I think both teams will try to impose their style, gameplay, and dominance over each other, so I expect it to be one of the better games that the Next Gen 2023 will see. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against West Ham and I hope that we can get the job done.
“I told the players ahead of the match that we have another opportunity here to represent South Africa and as the season draws to a close, I think the eyes are on us back home to perform and keep the flag flying, to show the world that there is talent in our country and that we can compete on the international stage.
“We hope to make not only Stellenbosch and our community but the whole country proud.”
The match is set to get underway at 12h30 (South Africa) / 16h00 (India) and can be watched live on SuperSport Schools or on the official Premier League Youtube Channel.
You can watch the full match between Stellenbosch FC and West Ham United in the video below, courtesy of the Premier League.