Sunday, September 24, 2023

Arsenal Youth preview – U23s face Leicester away

Arsenal U23s are back in action tomorrow night as they face their Leicester City counterparts away.

The young Gunners go into the game in third place in Premier League 2 and it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that they could win the title this season. Arsenal are ten points adrift of leaders Manchester City but they have two games in hand and crucially the two teams still have to play each other near the end of the campaign.

If Arsenal are to seriously challenge for the league, however, they will have to perform with greater consistency than they have done of late.

In their last league fixture Arsenal produced an impressive performance to beat Chelsea 3-1, but that was followed by a 4-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League Cup. Arsenal still managed to progress to the knockout stages of the latter competition by finishing in second place in the group but there were some concerning moments defensively.

Arsenal were without Charlie Patino and Mika Biereth for the game against West Brom, and it remains to be seen if Omari Hutchinson will be involved against Leicester after he was on the bench for the first-team yesterday.

Salah-Eddine has been impressive recently and will certainly be a player to keep an eye on, and it is hoped that Miguel Azeez will also be able to make an impact after being recalled from his loan spell at Portsmouth recently.

There are some players in the Arsenal side, such as Zak Swanson and Joel Lopez, who have gained plenty of experience at this level but perhaps should have been sent out on loan in January.

Coach Kevin Betsy has called upon some members of the U18 squad recently and creative midfielder Marcelo Flores will hope for further opportunities to impress for the older age group.

Leicester are in seventh place in the table and have won their last three games in all competitions. There could be a familiar face in the Foxes side tomorrow in Bayli Spencer-Adams, a defender who was previously at Arsenal’s academy before leaving in 2019.

The game kicks off at 7pm tomorrow and Leicester will be showing it live on their official website.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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