Pre-Match Report

Under-18s: Arsenal v Chelsea - Preview

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi

Arsenal Under-18s will be looking to kick-start their league season when they take on London rivals Chelsea at London Colney on Saturday.

It's been a difficult start to the campaign for Carl Laraman's side - they haven't won since their opening-day victory over Liverpool in August.

The young Gunners have fallen to narrow defeats against Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa but came back from two goals down to secure a draw with Southampton last time out.

Saturday's opponents have made a strong start to their own campaign. The Blues are fourth in the Premier Academy League, just seven points adrift of leaders Fulham with three games in hand.

Arsenal are ninth with seven points but Laraman took heart from the performance against the Saints.

"The team recovered really well from going 2-0 down and dominated the first half," he said. "We scored a real Arsenal-type goal with combination play and very quick combination passing.

"In the second half they set about to stop us which was a compliment to how we were playing. The performance was of a standard that's expected."

The Gunners welcomed back talented playmaker Daniel Crowley against Southampton and he will provide a much-needed boost to the side for the visit of Chelsea.

With players like Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles likely to feature after spending the majority of the season with the under-21s, Arsenal will be confident of beating the west Londoners.

Please note admittance to this game is by invitation only.

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