Derby County's Under-19s are set to continue their European adventure when they take on FC Salzburg in the UEFA Youth League Round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon at Untersberg Arena (kick-off 4pm- 3pm UK Time).
Justin Walker’s side travelled to Austria on Monday looking to secure their place in the quarter finals in their debut campaign in the European competition, which was the prize for being crowned Under-18s Premier League Champions last season.
THE STORY SO FAR…
The young Rams continued to make Academy history as they progressed to the knockout stage of the competition earlier in the campaign following convincing first and second round victories over Belarusian side FC Minsk and Icelandic team IA Akranes over two legs.
They then faced German giants Borussia Dortmund at Pride Park Stadium last month in the play-off round - and ran out 3-1 winners.
After a goalless first half, the Rams raced to a 2-0 lead following the break with quickfire goals from Eiran Cashin and Jordan Brown, before Louie Sibley’s late goal maintained a three-goal lead ahead of the final whistle after Dortmund pulled a goal back midway through the second half.
While Derby entered the competition through the Domestic Champions path after lifting the National Title last season, Salzburg qualified through the Champions League path based on their first-teams involvement in the senior competition.
That path of the competition consisted of a group stage, in which the Austrian team finished second behind Liverpool and ahead of Genk and Napoli after playing each side twice. As the second-placed team, Salzburg then moved to the play-off round where they defeated current title holders Porto on penalties after the game ended 1-1.
Salzburg have plenty of experience in the UEFA Youth League, lifting the trophy in 2017 after defeating Benfica 2-1 in the final. They are the only side left in this year’s competition to have been crowned champion in a previous season.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION…
Keep up to date with all the action in Austria on Derby County Academy’s Twitter @DCFCAcademy. While post-game content will be posted on dcfc.co.uk.