West Ham United u23s celebrate v Leeds United

U23s v Fulham: All You Need To Know

West Ham United U23s will be seeking to secure their place in the Premier League Cup last four when they face Fulham on Friday 22 April. 

The Irons welcome the Cottagers to Rush Green Stadium for the quarter-final tie, which can be watched live on the West Ham United YouTube Channel here! 

Read on for all you need to know about this encounter…

The story so far

Having secured the Premier League Cup quarter-final spot with a win over Leeds United last Monday, Mark Robson's U23s returned to league action away to Liverpool on Easter Sunday. 

Attention now turns back to the Premier League Cup with a tricky last eight tie against Fulham.

Keenan Appiah-Forson against Leeds United


Mark Robson’s side finished top of Group F to ensure their passage into the round of 16 in the competition, claiming 13 points from six matches played against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Exeter City and Swansea City. 

Taking top spot means the Irons earned themselves a home tie in the first knock-out stage fixture, which came against a Leeds team that claimed second in Group E. 

Victory over Leeds led to Friday's match, with the winner set to take on one of Middlesbrough, Wolverhampton Wanderers or West Bromwich Albion in the semi-finals in early May.

The Premier League Cup

Reinstated in the absence of the Premier League International Cup this season, on hold due to COVID-related considerations, the Premier League Cup is the domestic equivalent of that competition and has returned after not taking place in 2020/21.

Open to Category One and Two Academies, with Categories Three and Four clubs competing in qualifiers to join them, the tournament is designed to enhance the competitiveness of the Professional Development Phase league calendar with knockout football.

The Hammers in action against Swansea


West Ham United U23s secured four wins, one draw and suffered just one defeat in the group stages of the 2021/22 competition, defeating Exeter City 3-2 at home and 3-0 away while also doing the double over Swansea City, claiming a 4-2 win on the road before a 1-0 at Rush Green Stadium. 

A 1-0 defeat away to Wolverhampton Wanderers was followed by a 0-0 draw at home, which saw the Irons finish top of Group E with 13 points.

The opposition

Fulham’s place in Premier League 2 Division 1 for next season has been confirmed. 

The west London side sit at the pinnacle of Division 2 and are a massive 20 points clear of second place Norwich City. An impressive 19 wins and two draws from 24 matches played has Fulham on 59 points and set for a return to the top tier of development team football.

Easily boasting the best defence in their division, conceding only 21 goals, Fulham have also been lethal on the attack, netting 58 times in the league, second only to Norwich’s 62.

Central to that success has been midfielder Sonny Hilton, who has scored nine goals and provided ten assists in 24 league matches this campaign. Fellow central midfielder Luke Harris, a 17-year-old Welsh youth international, also has nine goals this season. 

Sonny Hilton of Fulham
Sonny Hilton of Fulham


Fulham are the only unbeaten side left in the 2021/22 Premier League Cup, coming through the group stages with five wins and one draw from six matches to secure top spot in Group H. 

The Cottagers comfortably saw off Newcastle United with a 2-0 win in the round of 16 and, despite being in the league below West Ham, will be filled with confidence come Friday’s last-eight fixture.

Last time out

It was back in December 2019 that the Hammers and the Cottagers last met in Premier League 2 action, playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Motspur Park.

The Irons had stormed to a two-goal advantage before the interval after Amadou Diallo fired the away side in front just 13 minutes in before Dan Kemp doubled the lead on 44 minutes. 

Fulham shot back via Fabio Carvalho, but Joe Powell added West Ham’s third on 80 minutes with an assist provided by a then-17-year-old Dan Chesters.
However, the home side would secure a draw with two goals in the final ten minutes, courtesy of Jay Stansfield and Timmy Abraham.

Dan Kemp takes on Fulham in August 2019


In the reverse fixture, which came on the opening day of the 2019/20 season, goals from Kemp, Alfie Lewis and Oladapo Afolayan fired the Hammers to a 3-0 win.

The two development teams have met on eleven occasions, with West Ham winning five of them. Three have gone Fulham’s way, while the other three have ended in draws.

What they’re saying

Mark Robson, West Ham United U23s lead coach: “We’ve got two league games left and the title has probably gone – we knew that after the Blackburn game – but we want to finish as high as we can. We’ve got two games and we need one win to finish second, so that’s the aim. 

“That’s the target, and of course we’ve still got the Cup, so it would be nice if we could go all the way through – but I’ll be expecting a lot more from the boys over these next few games."

How to follow

Friday’s Premier League Cup quarter-final match between West Ham United and Leeds United will be available to stream live on the Club’s official YouTube Channel! 

The fixture kicks off at 7.00pm BST and live coverage on our YouTube Channel will begin approximately ten minutes prior. 

Fans should note that Friday’s Premier League Cup fixture is being played behind closed doors and only club officials and invited guests will be permitted entrance to Rush Green Stadium. 

Supporters unable to join our live stream will be able to follow along for minute-by-minute coverage in our live blog, which will be available from an hour before kick-off at whufc.com. Significant updates from the match will also be shared on Twitter. 

Full highlights and reaction from the lead coach and players will be available on whufc.com on Friday evening and throughout Saturday.