Arsenal take on Brighton in the Premier League tomorrow but before then the two clubs will do battle at U23 level at Emirates Stadium tonight.
It is an intriguing encounter, with both teams having made encouraging starts to the Premier League 2 season. Brighton are second in the table after taking 13 points from six games and Arsenal are third, trailing their opponents only on goal difference.
With league leaders Manchester City not in action until tomorrow, a victory tonight would send Arsenal U23s top of the table, which provides Kevin Betsy’s side with an excellent incentive.
Last weekend Arsenal drew 2-2 with City in a hard-fought encounter, with exciting midfielder Salah-Eddine giving a very good account of himself yet again, which included him scoring from 25 yards out.
Omari Hutchinson and Kido Taylor-Hart were key players in the early weeks of the campaign but then suffered minor injuries and have been amongst the substitutes for the last couple of games.
Given the quality that both players possess, it surely won’t be too long until they are back in the starting lineup on a regular basis, although it will be intriguing to see how Betsy tweaks his side to fit them in.
Wing-backs Ryan Alebiosu and Joel Lopez, meanwhile, have been very impressive of late and against City they combined to excellent effect, with Alebiosu crossing from the right to locate Lopez, who proceeded to score his first goal at this level.
There has been great cohesion amongst the Arsenal U23 team this season, but they will have to be at their best to get the better of Brighton, who can call upon talented forward Lorent Tolaj.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7pm and will be shown live on Arsenal.com.