Pre-Match Report

Under-21s: Arsenal v Liverpool - Preview

Kris Olsson

It's been something of a breakthrough season for Kris Olsson. The Swedish midfielder made his first-team bow as a late substitute against West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup back in September where he also scored a penalty as Arsenal edged out the Baggies in a shoot-out.

Since then, Olsson has made a regular contribution to Arsenal Under-21s' strong first half of the season. The 18-year-old also featured in all six Uefa Youth League games as the under-19s topped their group to qualify for the last 16.

"It was a really good experience to play at Anfield even though we lost that day. It will be a good game and I'm looking forward it"

Kris Olsson

After a gruelling opening five months to the season, the academy players were given the Christmas period off. While Olsson admits he enjoyed returning home to Sweden, he doesn't want to make a habit of it.

"It was nice to get a break at Christmas to see my friends and family," Olsson told "But next season I would rather not have one because Christmas in England is all about football.

"There's been some ups and downs this season. I've had some decent performances but I've also had some below-par performances. I'm always working hard to improve my standard.

"I think I have to do everything a bit quicker to get close to the first team. That's what I'm working on now, to take less touches on the ball and make my game quicker."

Steve Gatting's side host Liverpool at London Colney on Monday afternoon as they look to get their league campaign back on track. The Gunners are without a win in their last three games and currently sit 11th in the table, 10 points adrift of leaders Fulham, although they do have two games in hand.

The Arsenal youngsters were beaten 3-1 by Middlesbrough last time out after taking an early lead. Olsson stressed the importance of learning their lessons from the defeat while getting over it quickly.

"The coaches talked about it with us straight after the game, they told us what we did well and what we did wrong but we have to quickly move on from it, there's no point dwelling too much on a defeat. Now we're just looking forward to the game on Monday," he said.

"We made a good start against Middlesbrough and if we had scored the second goal then maybe we would have won it. Their third goal made all the difference because we were confident of coming back from 2-1 down at half-time to win it. But they scored almost straight away in the second half."

Kris Olsson


The Gunners had mixed fortunes against Liverpool last season when they narrowly lost 3-2 at Anfield before drawing 1-1 in their last league game of the campaign. Olsson featured in both and is expecting a tough test again.

"It was a really good experience to play at Anfield even though we lost that day. It will be a good game and I'm looking forward it. Like us, they have some very talented players in their academy so I'm expecting an even game."

Please note that Monday's game will be played behind closed doors and admittance to the game is by invitation only.

We will have live tweets from London Colney from 1.25pm (UK time) on the @Arsenal account.

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