We meet our London rivals in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and the 17-year-old midfield craftsman, who has been in sparkling form during our campaign thus far, is licking his lips at the prospect of locking horns with the current holders – and finalists in six of the last seven seasons – at our world-famous stadium (7.15pm kick-off, live on ITV4).
“It’s always nice to play at home. I haven’t actually played at White Hart Lane yet so it will be a great experience for me personally and I think the boys are all excited to play there as well – everyone wants to impress,” said Samuel, who has 12 goals to his name in all competitions this season.
“We’re confident and we’re ready for whatever Chelsea bring. We’ve played them twice in the league, drawing at home and losing 3-2 at their place but the first game I think we should have won and then the second one we started cold. We know we can’t and won’t start like that again so if we’re all on it and the mentality is right, I think we can definitely win.
“It’s the biggest game for all of us. This is our goal – we really want to win this tournament so it’d be a good scalp but at the same time we feel we should win. We don’t feel like we’re underdogs at all.”
While he hasn’t yet graced the White Hart Lane turf, Samuel has already turned out at Stamford Bridge – the site of Saturday’s second leg – having stepped up to play for our development squad in their 3-1 Premier League 2 defeat there back in September.
With family members still residing in the area, the skilful youngster says this tie has added significance in the Shashoua household.
“My dad and my grandad live around Chelsea so they’re quite local and they’ll definitely come to the games but it’s fine – they’ll be supporting me!” smiled Samuel, whose younger brother Armando plays for our Under-16s.
“It’s going to be amazing in both games, a great experience. This is a tie I’ve been looking forward to for a while now and we want to prove ourselves against one of the other top sides.”
Come along and support the lads at the Lane tonight! Ticket details here…