Opinion: Watford will miss Chalobah, but it’s an opportunity for Will Hughes to shine

Nathaniel Chalobah has been one of Watford’s best performers this season, but a freak knee injury in training has him sidelined until the start of 2018. Now’s the time for fellow summer signing, Will Hughes to step up and prove he’s ready for the Premier League challenge ahead.

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U18s: Man City 7-2 Derby County: Wilcox’s youngsters back firing

U18s: Man City 7-2 Derby County: Wilcox's youngsters back firing

Jason Wilcox’s youngsters returned to the top of the Premier League’s u18 table in emphatic style, with a 7-2 home thrashing over strugglers Derby County.

A hat-trick from Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, a well-taken double from Joe Coveney as well as one goal apiece between creative midfielders Paolo Fernandes and Javairo Dilrosun ensured Jason Wilcox‘s Manchester City youngsters got back to winning ways in the best possible manner at home against Derby County.

Soured by their unfortunate 1-0 defeat at the hands of midtable West Brom last time out, it was important for the young sky Blues to respond and boost their title credentials.

Young Blues firing on all cylinders

They did just that, with a fantastic team performance – sandwiched by nine goals at the City Academy Stadium.

Buckley broke the deadlock after 15 minutes, volleying home from range after spotting Derby goalkeeper Joshua Barnes off his line, rushing to try and close down the angle between himself and the gaping goal.

City smell blood, and punish Derby in style

Coveney scored a well-taken header and a neatly-placed rebound before the interval, whilst Buckley added to his personal tally for the afternoon with a close-range strike which left Barnes helpless.

Derby shored up their defensive issues in the second-half, and grabbed two consolation strikes courtesy of Jahvan Davidson-Miller and Emil Riis Jakobsen after the break. With that in mind though, they were unable to settle quickly enough and City’s counter-attacking exploits, plus the blistering acceleration at which they get forward, was too much to handle. It was evident to see, the visitors struggled and their heads dropped after quick-fire goals in the first-half.

Buckley netted his hat-trick, whilst Fernandes also got himself on the scoresheet to add gloss to a fantastic win. It finished 7-2, Derby’s heaviest defeat of the campaign – and City will hope to build from that display of attacking impetus with the Manchester Derby coming up soon – fixture time and date to be confirmed, due to fixture rescheduling.