Arsenal Under-21s begin 2014 with a short trip across London to Motspur Park to play Fulham in the U21 Premier League Cup as they look to continue their strong start to the season.
Steve Gatting's side have already played the Cottagers this season, a goalless draw back in September. However, the Gunners will be hoping to produce an improved attacking display on Thursday.
A home tie against Chelsea in the quarter-finals awaits the winners and defender Semi Ajayi feels the team are capable of going deep into the latter stages of the competition.
All the lads have been really welcoming to me and made it easy to settle inSemi Ajayi
"Fulham are a strong team but I'm confident we can do well and get to the next round," he told Arsenal.com. "We had a little slip up against Sunderland but other than that the team's been playing really well this season so I don't see why we can't do well in every competition we enter.
"It was a tough game when we played there in September and we had to defend very well to get the draw, but this game will be different because it's a cup tie."
Ajayi has held down a regular starting place in the under-21s since he joined from Charlton last summer and is satisfied with how his Arsenal career has gone.
"The aim when I first came here was always to cement my place in the under-21s team and then try to push on after that," he said. "I'm pleased with how things are going but I need to make sure I keep doing the right things.
"I've settled in really well. All the lads have been really welcoming to me and made it easy to settle in. I'm starting to settle in and get used to my surroundings. I think the coaches are getting to know me more. I'm enjoying my football right now and I think my form is good."
After their shock 5-1 defeat at home to Sunderland, Gatting's side responded well against champions Manchester United and were unlucky not snatch three points after missing a host of chances at the end. But Ajayi thinks the Gunners have built a solid platform to challenge for the league this year.
"I think we were pretty disappointed not to win it [against Man United] because we had the chances," he said. "Other than the penalty I can't remember United creating any chances and I thought we dominated for long spells of the game.
"We've got quite a few games in hand in the league so hopefully after the turn of the year when we catch up with our games in hand we can close the gap to the top."
We will have live tweets from Motspur Park from 6.55pm (UK time) on the @Arsenal account.Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 9 Jan 2014