Middlesbrough U21s v Everton U21s
Everton Under-21s head to Middlesbrough for their inaugural Premier League Cup tie on Monday evening.
The young Blues enter the competition at the last-32 stage with a trip to the Riverside Stadium on the back of a five-match unbeaten run in the league and two friendlies without defeat north of the border.
Under-21s coach Alan Stubbs has welcomed the introduction of the tournament, which offers his young players the chance to experience meaningful knockout football.
“The Under-21 Premier League Cup is a new addition this year and it’s basically the equivalent of the FA Youth Cup, so it will be good,” Stubbs told evertontv.
“We’ve been drawn against Middlesbrough, which will be a tough game for our lads, but we’ll go there and look to keep our performance levels as high as they have been.
“At the moment, I’m happy to play anyone because of the football we are playing.”
The cup tie against the Teessiders will grant the young Blues a chance to experience another first-team stadium.
They have already played twice at Goodison Park this season, in addition to away games at the Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park and Ewood Park.
“It’s been good and the lads have enjoyed that,” Stubbs continued.
“The only game we haven’t really performed in was at Manchester City but apart from that I can have no complaints about our performances this season. That was the only negative one that we have had.
“They have got the chance to play at the Riverside now but it won’t be easy. Middlesbrough will be strong because they have always had good teams and put competitive sides out.
“But we will see what they have when we get there and take on what is in front of us.”
Supporters can follow Monday's cup tie friendly at Middlesbrough with regular updates on the Club’s official Twitter feed.