Neil Critchley‘s Liverpool U18s side face a tough start to the 2016/17 campaign.
The young Reds will play Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Manchester United in their opening three fixtures of the new season.
This provides Critchley’s ranks with a stern test of their credentials, after a reasonable campaign in 2015/16.
Liverpool advanced from the North Division last term, but finished fourth in Group 1 of the second league stage.
City emerged as comfortable victors, finishing six points clear of second-placed Everton, securing a place in this season’s UEFA Youth League.
This season, the Reds will first take on their city rivals on September 24 at the club’s Kirkby academy ground, before a return fixture at Finch Farm on January 14.
Critchley’s side will finish their North Division schedule at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on February 18.
It remains to be seen which of Critchley’s promising U18s stars make the step up to the U23s setup on a full-time basis this season.
Shamal George, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Masterson, Adam Phillips, Herbie Kane, Bobby Adekanye, Brooks Lennon, Ben Woodburn and Toni Gomes are all in a strong position to progress this summer.
Many may operate between the two squads, as Critchley and Michael Beale negotiate with first-team manager Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp has recently suggested he would like to combine the club’s first-team and academy facilities, though plans to do so are yet to be announced.
U18 Premier League Fixtures, 2016/17
- Monday 15 – Blackburn Rovers (H), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 20 – Manchester United (A), 11am – Altrincham FC
- Saturday 27 – Manchester City (A), 11am – City Football Academy
- Saturday 10 – Stoke City (H), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 17 – Middlesbrough (A), 12.30pm – Rockliffe Park, Darlington
- Saturday 24 – Everton (H), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 1 – Newcastle United (A), 11am – Newcastle Academy
- Saturday 15 – West Bromwich Albion (H), 12pm – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 22 – Derby County (A), 12pm – Derby Academy
- Saturday 29 – Sunderland (H), 12.30pm – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 5 – Wolves (A), 11.30am – Sir Jack Haywood training ground
- Saturday 19 – Manchester United (H), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 26 – Blackburn Rovers (A), 11am – Blackburn Academy
- Saturday 3 – Middlesbrough (H), 12.30pm – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 10 – Stoke City (A), 11am – Clayton Wood training ground
- Saturday 7 – Manchester City (H), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 14 – Everton (A), 11am – Finch Farm
- Saturday 21 – Newcastle United (H), 12.30pm – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 28 – Derby County (A), 11am – Kirkby Academy
- Saturday 4 – West Bromwich Albion (A), 12 noon – West Brom training ground
- Saturday 11- Sunderland (A) 11am – Academy of Light
- Saturday 18 – Wolves (H) 11.30am – Kirkby Academy