This Sunday, the Sidemen host their second Sidemen FC vs YouTube All-Stars encounter, this time at The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic FC. With the game being a sell-out, with tickets having gone just days after the match was announced, 27,110 people will flock to London in order to see the internet’s biggest superstars leave their safety of their rooms, their houses and their computers, with them trading the games FIFA and Rocket League for a real-life event, a real-life football event as they search to test their skills against their closest friends.
Last summer, the Sidemen hosted the exact same game at Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium, in a game which was pretty one-sided come the full-time whistle. Three minutes into the clash, Chris Dixon (ChrisMD) went on a weaving run but found himself being brought down by JME inside the box. Dixon stepped up to take the penalty but hit it straight at goalkeeper HughWizzy and slipped when attempting to control the rebound. Sidemen found themselves 1-0 up when a corner from Olajide Olatunji (KSI) was clipped out to Josh Bradley (Zerkaa) 25 yards from goal, whose shot was poor and brought down by Marcus Butler, who scuffed his shot along the floor with it being poked in by YouTube All-Stars defender Tobias.
Minutes after the goal, Dixon’s corner found its way to Tobias at the back post, his side-footed volley clipping the bar. Moments before half-time, Simon Minter (Miniminter) was fed down the line by Manny Brown (Manny), with Minter’s cross across the face of goal being slid home by Manny’s older brother, Tobi Brown (Tobjizzle) for 2-0 Sidemen.
Not long after the interval, Manny Brown and Minter continued their prolific partnership up front for the Sidemen with the former laying on a pass to Minter, who got a bit lucky when opposing captain Callum Airey (Calfreezy) failed to clear the ball and Minter slammed the ball home off the underside of the crossbar. The other Brown, Manny, then didn’t take long to get his name onto the scoresheet when Minter again repaid the favour, by crossing in for the fleet-footed forward to slot home.
YouTube All-Stars pulled a goal back when George Benson clipped a ball through for Joe Morris (JMX) who slid home past HughWizzy. However, Sidemen restored their four-goal advantage when Manny produced a great scoop turn in order to break away from the two defenders, rounded the goalkeeper Callum McGinley (Callux) and tapping into an empty net. Minter continued to run the show for the Sidemen and made it 6-1 to his side when slotting home from a headed flick by Spencer Owen (SpencerFC). It wasn’t long until Joe Weller would arrive to the party and he fired home inexplicably from close range in order to get a goal back for the YouTube All-Stars.
However, from kick-off, Minter decided that it was time to end the game on a high and as he was rolled the ball, his shot from half-way dipped in over the head of McGinley to end the first encounter impressively with a 7-2 scoreline to the Sidemen.
Sidemen FC: Ethan Payne (Behzinga), Simon Minter (Miniminter), Josh Bradley (Zerkaa), Olajide Olatunji (KSI), Harry Lewis (Wrotoeshaw), Vikram Barn (Vikkstar123), Tobi Brown (Tobjizzle), Manny Brown (Manny), Jamie Adenuga (JME), Lewis Redman, Poet, Vujanic, Charlie Morley, Craig Douglas (Nepenthez) and Jamie Bateson (Bateson).
YouTube All-Stars: Callum Airey (Calfreezy), Callum McGinley (Callux), Chris Dixon (ChrisMD), Joe Sugg, AnEsonGib, Josh Larkin (TheBurntChip), Deji Olatunji (ComedyShortsGamer), Joel Morris (JMX), Reev, Josh Pieters, Oli White, Hugh Wizzy, Marcus Butler, Caspar Lee, Castro.
Sidemen Key Men:
Simon Minter (Miniminter)
The 24-year-old can be considered the Sidemen’s Key Player heading into Sunday’s charity match, with the striker having scored a hat-trick in the previous encounter between the Sidemen and the YouTube All-Stars. The striker is known to have a strong right foot and can also be considered quite quick compared to other Youtubers of the similar age and build, with Minter known as one of the better footballers amongst the Sidemen.
Harry Lewis (Wrotoeshaw)
The 20-year-old competed in the last match between the two teams, starting and maintaining his place at centre-back for the duration of the 90 minutes and held his own against attacking threats Joe Weller, Chris Dixon and Callum McGinley. The Guernsey-born defender is expected to start in defence again this time around however he has a good shot on him, which will equally see him available to play in central midfield if needed.
The young Youtuber is able to be a force to be reckoned with whether he is competing in goal or outfield. Morley has extreme pace, which will see him take on the YouTube All-Stars defence. Morley also has an incredible right foot, marking him out as a suitable set-piece taker, and is also capable of donning the gloves and keeping the shots from hitting the back of the net, making him one of the most versatile players taking to the pitch this Sunday.
YouTube All-Stars Key Men:
Joel Morris (JMX)
Morris sees himself as being a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-type player, someone who can compete in the air, is strong on and off the ball and has a natural eye for goal, marking the 22-year-old out as a prolific striker in and around the box, a natural goal poacher you could say. After scoring last year, the London-born will certainly fancy his chances up against the likes of Wrotoeshaw with creative players in and around him when going forward.
Chris Dixon (ChrisMD)
One of the more naturally gifted players slipping on the boots this Sunday is attacking midfielder Chris Dixon, who has already proven his set-piece ability through various football challenges on this YouTube channel. Through his Sunday league videos and the charity matches he has played in over the course of the past year, Dixon has shown that his lack of height certainly makes up for his lack in technical class, with his dribbling skill and vision only going to benefit his side on Sunday.
Callum McGinley (Callux)
Despite his “average” performance last year for the YouTube All-Stars, the 24-year-old could be about to put that behind him this Sunday. But to do that, he will have to hit the ground running for 90 minutes wherever he is being used and after starting as the right winger last year, his forward runs in behind the left-back, with players like aforementioned Chris Dixon on the ball, McGinley could be about to steal the show if he puts 100% in to his performance.
Sidemen Starting XI: YouTube All-Stars Starting XI:
The match is being played at The Valley Stadium, Charlton, on Sunday 21st May 2017 at 17:30 (5:30PM) and is being live-streamed on the Sidemen’s YouTube Channel from 5PM, 30 minutes before Kick-Off. The Sidemen are fund-raising in aid of Childline with the link to their Just-Giving page here: Their target is £10,000. The link to the Sidemen’s Twitter account is also here.