Pre-Match Report

Reserves: Bolton v Arsenal - Match Preview

By Joe Brewin

Arsenal Reserves look to continue their 100 per cent start to the campaign when they travel to Bolton in the Reserve League on Tuesday night.

Neil Banfield’s side have taken maximum points from their two opening fixtures, and now face another testing obstacle when they travel north to the Lancashire County Ground.

With the international break now complete, manager Banfield says the whole squad are ready to get back into the swing of things on the pitch.

“Everybody's looking to get back into it, and I think some of them have one eye on the Carling Cup as well,” Banfield said.

“I think overall all the lads are just really looking forward to playing football again.”

Banfield’s young guns have enjoyed an excellent opening to the season, putting a strong Manchester United side to the sword with a 2-1 win before claiming a resilient 3-1 victory away at Wigan after finding themselves a goal down.

Bolton have endured a difficult opening to their Reserve League North season, losing all three of their opening league matches.

But despite a troubled opening which has seen them on the wrong end of their score-lines so far this term, Banfield says he expects another good test for his fledgling youngsters.

“Obviously you go to Bolton and they have Owen Coyle and a good strong squad. They're a footballing side and it's always a good game when we go up north,” he said.

“We're just looking forward to playing again after a little break.”

Banfield’s team face another long trip on the same day Arsene Wenger takes his team to Dortmund for their Champions League opener.

And the Reserve team boss says he will relish the journey up north, seeing it as part of the ever-growing learning curve his young side must undertake.

“I just think we don't play the likes of those sides a great deal over the years, and it's nice to travel,” he added.

“It's the whole package - the travelling, playing new sides and getting used to the experience.”

Last season's repeat fixture saw the Gunners run out 5-0 winners at the County Ground, as braces from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Chuks Aneke were added to by a Nacer Barazite strike.

“The squad's shaping up nicely, we've got a few coming back from injury and with the first-team adding some new players it's going to be interesting to see if we do get some senior players as well which I think we may do now.

“We've been running very short so far.”

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