It is nine years since Arsenal U18s last won the title, but that could change tomorrow when they face Fulham away.
If Ken Gillard’s side manage to secure victory at Motspur Park then they will certainly be crowned champions of the southern section, although if they drop points then they will have to keep an eye on how Tottenham Hotspur, who are also challenging for the title, fare against Leicester City.
Arsenal are one point clear going into the final round of fixtures and have produced some sensational performances this season, which has included two 8-0 victories in recent weeks.
In contrast to many previous seasons, the young Gunners have been more resilient at the back, while they have remained as potent as ever in attack, with Folarin Balogun scoring with regularity, while the likes of Sam Greenwood and Trae Coyle have also made significant contributions.
Arsenal are also able to call upon more experienced players such as Bukayo Saka, Xavier Amaechi and Tyreece John-Jules, although if the trio are involved against Fulham then it is likely that they will be used from the bench.
Despite having to cope with a managerial change earlier in the season when Kwame Ampadu left to join Monaco, Arsenal have enjoyed an excellent season and now they must ensure that they are rewarded for their efforts.
Fulham, who have a strong academy, certainly won’t be pushovers, but Arsenal should have enough quality to secure victory, and, with it, the title.
Without wishing to look too far ahead, if Arsenal do manage to prevail then their opponents in the overall final could be Liverpool, who last night won the FA Youth Cup by overcoming Manchester City on penalties.
Arsenal’s own FA Youth Cup campaign came to an early end as they were surprisingly knocked out in the fifth round by West Bromwich Albion, when Balogun admitted that he and his team-mates were too complacent.
It is hoped that Arsenal will have learned their lesson from that experience as they head into tomorrow’s crucial clash.
Possible Arsenal team: T. Smith; Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Clarke, Swanson; M. Smith, Azeez; Greenwood, Cottrell, Coyle; Balogun. Subs: Hillson, Ogungbo, Amaechi, Saka, John-Jules.