Arsenal u23s face Spurs in the Premier League 2 on Friday, looking to get back to winning ways and increase the gap to their local rivals.
The Arsenal u23s come into the home clash with Spurs on a difficult recent run of form in the league. The Gunners are now winless in six, losing to Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the last three games.
That does make things sound a little worse than they are though. Most recently, Arsenal knocked Monaco out of the Premier League International Cup to reach the semi-finals.
In amongst the winless league run, they also defeated Leicester City and Dinamo Zagreb in the PL International Cup. Include those games and it’s three wins, two draws and three defeats in the last eight, not quite as bad.
Still, after Spurs win over bottom-side Wolves in their last match, they’re now only four points behind Arsenal. It would be great if the Gunners could increase that to seven and do the double over their rivals, having beaten them 3-1 earlier in the season.
The game takes place at Meadow Park, but only for Arsenal members who purchased tickets in advance. It’s on Friday 13th at 19:00. I’ll be reporting on the match live through my Twitter account.
It’s going to be a very different team to the one that won against Spurs in November. Three of that starting eleven are now on loan, one left permanently (Burton), one is with the first team (Nelson) and at least one more (Clarke) is out with an injury.
Zak Swanson also appears to be out, meaning one of the u18s will have to step up. Daniel Oyegoke and Ryan Alebiosu both played the position for a half each against Monaco.
The good news is that Folarin Balogun is in good form, scoring five goals in his last three games. Trae Coyle and Sam Greenwood are also stepping up well, with Nathan Tormey absent.