Pre-Match Report

Youth Cup: Arsenal v Chelsea - Preview

Emirates Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal's youth teams. Since the move from Highbury, the Gunners' youngsters have produced 11 wins from 11 games, but victory in game No 12 at the stadium would arguably be the best yet.

The under-18s trail Chelsea 2-1 going into tonight's Youth Cup semi-final second leg. The Gunners got their noses in front at Stamford Bridge a week ago through a clinical strike from Chuba Akpom but were overhauled by two quickfire Chelsea goals to give the Blues a narrow first-leg advantage.

"There might be a time in the game where we really need them to push us over the line to the final"

Fulham await the winners of this evening's tie but Glen Kamara knows Arsenal have a big task ahead of them before they can think about playing a final.

"It's an exciting game for us and we're really looking forward to it," the midfielder told "We didn't play as well as we wanted to in the first leg but we've got a chance to make up for it and we're fired up for playing at the Emirates.

"It was annoying to concede two goals so quickly after taking the lead. I think we need to press them better when they have the ball in their half. A youth team has never lost at the Emirates before so we're hoping to continue that. There's going to be a lot of fans there and there might be a time in the game where we really need them to push us over the line to the final."

Glen Kamara

Glen Kamara


Kamara has featured regularly for all of Arsenal's academy sides this season. The 18-year-old is delighted with his progress, which has also seen him selected for the Finland Under-19s side.

"I think I've developed a lot quicker than I expected," he said. "I've played regularly for all three teams so I've had to get through a lot of games. Hopefully next season can be even better and I can hold down a place in the under-21s. "I'd like to score a few more goals next season but I'm more of a holding midfielder so I need to focus on my passing game and physical development."

Manager Carl Laraman echoed Kamara's remarks about the influence a home crowd can have on the team this evening.

"We've been looking forward to this game for a long time," said Laraman. "I'm sure the boys will get on the front foot and with the home crowd behind us, that could prove to be a massive factor in deciding who reaches the final.

"If we score first at the Emirates it's game on. We're still very much in it and we need to make sure we look after the ball at key times.

"They've got the better of us by just one goal but the academy have got a very good record at the Emirates so we're confident we can turn the tie in our favour."

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