The task facing Arsenal’s rising stars is clear: beat Marseille at Meadow Park on Monday night and Uefa Youth League progress is secure.

Steve Gatting’s side have proved as impressive as their first-team counterparts so far in Group F, racking up two wins and two draws from their four games.

But aside from the results themselves, the team's confident performances suggest a bright future - both in this tournament and beyond.

We've really embraced the Youth League this year because the pressure makes you want to play better and makes you want to perform

Stefan O'Connor

The Gunners will head into the Marseille match in confident mood. As we near December, the under-21s are unbeaten domestically, the under-19s have not tasted defeat in Europe and Tuesday night’s opponents were ruthlessly dismantled 4-1 in France in the opening round of group fixtures.

Having reached the NextGen Series semi-finals last season, could this Arsenal side go one step further this time around? Optimism abounds, but no one in this talented young team will look beyond the task in hand.

“Everyone's happy with each other,” young defender Stefan O’Connor told Arsenal.com. “No-one moans, the team get along really well and there's always a great spirit leading up to these European games.

“We've really embraced the Youth League this year because the pressure makes you want to play better and makes you want to perform. Good players perform in big games and on the big stage.

“Last time we played Marseille they pressed us at the start but once we started to play around them they didn't know what to do.

We hit them on the counter-attack a few times and passed the ball through them. If we can do that again we'll be able to take over

Stefan O'Connor

“We hit them on the counter-attack a few times and passed the ball through them. If we can do that again I reckon we'll be able to take over.”

O’Connor is enjoying the added responsibility of playing at a higher level, and believes the Gunners can be considered contenders to win the Youth League.

“You have to become mentally stronger the higher up the academy you get," he said. “All the other players are smarter, particularly when you play in European competition, so you've got to know what you do with the ball and improve your positioning.

“We've been working on keeping possession in training because we know we're good on the ball. We can definitely win [the competition] with the players that we've got.”

  •  We will tweet the key moments from Meadow Park from 6.55pm (UK time) on the @Arsenal account. Remember, entrance to the game is FREE!
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 Rob Kelly 25 Nov 2013