If Arsenal U23s win their remaining three games – away to Liverpool, at home to Swansea City and away to West Ham United – then they will be crowned Premier League 2 champions, with the club having not won the second string title, in its various guises, since they triumphed in Football & London Combination in 1990.
However, if they are to be successful, then it is likely that Steve Gatting’s side will have to cope without some key members of their squad.
Goalkeeper Matt Macey, for instance, is likely to be unavailable for the remainder of the U23 campaign as he will be needed to be on the bench for the first-team due to David Ospina being ruled out for two to three weeks through injury.
For tonight’s game away to Liverpool, meanwhile, the young Gunners are also set to be deprived of the services of Konstantinos Mavropanos, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock, who have all remained in London instead of making the trip to Merseyside.
With Arsenal having a rather small first-team squad, it is likely that the quartet will train with the senior players on Saturday, although it is questionable whether any of them will be involved at home to Southampton on Sunday, even if Arsene Wenger rotates his side.
Being without five very important players will certainly make Arsenal’s task of prevailing against Liverpool considerably more difficult, but they still possess the quality to cause problems for their opponents.
Vlad Dragomir, for instance, has enjoyed a very productive season, while midfielder Josh Dasilva has been one of the U23s’ most consistent performers.
With Nelson not involved, much responsibility could fall upon Tyreece John-Jules to make an impact, with the England youth international forward having impressed during several of his outings for the U23s so far.
Arsenal’s fate is in their own hands and they know that nine points will guarantee them the title, although if others falter then they could still prevail even if they don’t win all of their games.
They have the opportunity for further silverware, too, in the form of the Premier League International Cup, in which they will face Villarreal in the semi-finals.
It will be a hectic end to the campaign for Arsenal’s youngsters but hopefully it will be a trophy laden one.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
pure nonsense , our squad might be a bit on the small side , but surely we have enough to face southampton
Reading, try it some time my friend.