Oumar Niasse was the leading goalscorer in the U23s PL2 trophy-winning season, with a remarkable 8 goals in just 6 games
Manchester City U23s come to Goodison Park on Sunday in a game that will be available online to Everton Members.
The Young Citizens are behind Everton in the PL2 standings, but will get to play on the hallowed Goodison turf after the televised Premier League fixture the day before.
David Unsworth's young stars, who took the PL2 title in fine style last season, are trailing badly, now having slipped to 5th on the back of a dreadful run since January that has seen them win just once and loose six out of the remaining seven games in all competitions.
To call it the same side, however, is a travesty, as it could be argued that Unsworth has lost the services of almost all his star players from last season — Kieran Dowell, JonJoe Kenny, Liam Walsh, Antonee Robinson, Tom Davies, Callum Connolly, Gethin Jones, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Courtney Duffus, Calum Dyson, Matthew Pennington, Joe Williams, Tyias Browning, Conor Grant — some through promotion to the first team, but mostly through a plethora of loans to Championship and League One sides, while he has had to accelerate the progress of promising Under-18s and scholars, such as 16-year-old schoolboy centre-half, Ryan Astley, while finding a place for over-age hangers-on like Luke Garbutt and Joe Baxter.
Along with defeats in the FA Youth Cup back in December, and coming unstuck against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League Cup, the U23s have dropped so far off the pace, despite some games in hand, it seems retention of that PL2 trophy is now a forlorn dream.
This clash is set for Goodison Park on Sunday: kick-off at 1 o'clock, with online streaming video coverage available to Everton Members via the Official Website.