THE ACADEMY

FA Youth Cup 3rd round proper
Old Trafford, 7pm

MANCHESTER UNITED
v
BURNLEY

Live on MUTV. Tickets: £3 adults, £1 children

06/12/2012 11:28, Report by Adam Marshall

Youth Cup action at OT

United's Under-18s get the chance to parade their fledgling talents at Old Trafford in Friday's FA Youth Cup tie with Burnley.

The Clarets, like the Reds, were beaten semi-finalists in last season's competition and are likely to provide tough opposition for a team that has qualified for the elite phase of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League next year.

Paul McGuinness' charges have been in exceptional form, rattling off five league wins on the spin, culminating in last weekend's 4-2 triumph against group winners Southampton at Carrington.

Speedy striker James Wilson is top scorer with 12 goals in nine starts, plus another appearance as substitute, while the attacking armoury at McGuinness' disposal also includes Jack Barmby and Sam Byrne.

Creative imports Adnan Januzaj and Mats Daehli have both been in sensational form, with the Belgian benefiting from spending plenty of time with the Under-21s. Nicholas Ioannou made a welcome return from injury against the Saints to help stiffen the defence while midfielder Joe Rothwell is also back to add to the intense competition for places.

"For 50-odd years, we've been producing young players through the academy system," stated Sir Alex Ferguson. "Barcelona have done the same.

"I can't compare the two - I can only assess my own situation. But in terms of young players coming through I'm very, very pleased. We have a youth team playing on Friday night in the FA Youth Cup and they're absolutely outstanding young players.

"That talent continues because we believe in them and we believe in bringing our own young players through - we have young kids from six-years-old right through to Academy status. That's been going on a long time and we'll continue that."