Arsenal U23s are back in league action tomorrow afternoon with an intriguing clash at home to Manchester United.
It may have been an international break but the Arsenal youngsters have played twice over the past couple of weeks, drawing 1-1 with Southampton B in the Premier League Cup before the U21s suffered a 2-1 defeat to Swindon Town in the EFL Trophy.
Coach Kevin Betsy will hope to have the majority of his players available for tomorrow’s game, and the return of Omar Rekik could be key.
The Tunisia international has been operating in a hybrid role for the U23s so far this season which has seen him flit between his usual centre-back position and stepping into midfield at times.
Rekik is effective at breaking up play and also relishes pushing forward, with the tactical flexibility of Betsy’s 5-3-2 system suiting him well.
Charlie Patino could also feature. The highly-regarded midfielder captained the U21s against Swindon despite being just 17 years old and there is a growing feeling that he could be involved in some capacity for the first-team against AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup later this month.
A fine passer, Patino has also taken steps to improve defensively and if he is called upon tomorrow he will hope to help the U23s secure another league win as they look to build upon successes against Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur.
United, meanwhile, have commenced the campaign in disappointing fashion, taking just one point out of a possible nine, although they did have some tough fixtures to start the season including games against Chelsea and Manchester City.
Arsenal will hope that Omari Hutchinson, who wasn’t involved against Swindon, will be fit enough to feature and form part of the deadly attacking trio that also consists of Mika Biereth and Kido Taylor-Hart.
Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 1pm at Meadow Park and is free to attend.