Needing just a point to top their EFL Trophy group on Tuesday, let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal u21 lineup vs Gillingham.
After two wins in two, Arsenal face Gillingham in their final EFL Trophy group game. They only need a draw to guarantee top spot, and even defeat by one goal may be enough. However, they can still exit the competition with a bad loss and an Ipswich Town win.
Arsenal have a few players missing on international duty. The likes of Miguel Azeez and Folarin Balogun have England youth call-ups, Karl Hein is with the Estonia senior side, and there may be more for other countries.
At this stage, those are the only ones we’ve heard about, but Nikolaj Moller has had Sweden youth call-ups in the past, as has Joel Lopez with Spain. So if they end up missing out on the game, that’ll be why.
Let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal u21 lineup vs Gillingham.
With Karl Hein absent and Arthur Okonkwo reportedly missing for disciplinary reasons, Arsenal’s goalkeeping options are running low. It looks like James Hillson will need to start this one. Matt Macey dropping down for a game is another option.
Joseph Olowu and Zach Awe performed well as a pairing against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, and with all the centre-back injuries and loans, Arsenal may not have much choice anyway.
Lopez should keep his place at left-back, whilst 16-year-old Brooke Norton-Cuffy is impressing at right-back after injuries ahead of him propelled him into the side.
Tim Akinola was one of the stars of the show against Blackburn, despite not being involved in any of Arsenal’s six goals. He started alongside Ben Cottrell and Catalin Cirjan, who also both played well.
With Azeez missing, it’s probably best for Arsenal to stick with that same midfield.
Balogun will be a big miss, as will Emile Smith Rowe if he doesn’t drop down for another game. Moller is performing well and should start up front, with Friday’s debutant Joel Ideho getting the chance to make his first start on the right.
Arsenal’s options on the left are limited with George Lewis out injured (the latest we’ve heard is he’ll be “back soon”). Khayon Edwards could step up again, as at the weekend.
Kido Taylor-Hart is in great form, but the u18 game at the weekend was called off with the majority of the squad having to isolate for coronavirus reasons. He’s likely to be among that group and therefore unable to play.