Pre-Match Report

Youth Cup: Arsenal v Reading - Preview

FAYouth Cup Winners - 2009

Arsenal Under-18s kick-off their FA Youth Cup campaign when they host Reading at Meadow Park on Friday.

The Gunners have not lifted the trophy since 2009 - when Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin were in the squad - but have gone close in recent years, losing last year’s semi-final against Chelsea.

Arsenal’s have already played Reading once in the league this season, drawing 2-2 thanks to a Stephy Mavididi brace, and sit two places above them in the Premier Academy League.


Stephy Mavididi scores against Galatasaray

Stephy Mavididi scores against Galatasaray



However, the young Gunners have endured a mixed start to their league campaign. After winning three of their first four games, they have not picked up a victory in seven matches dating back to September.

Despite this, Frans de Kat will be confident his side can revitalise their season with a flying start in the cup competition.

The manager is expected to field an experienced side with recent first-team debutants Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Stefan O’Connor both eligible to play.


Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Stefan O'Connor in action for the first team

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Stefan O'Connor in action for the first team



Gedion Zelalem is still only 17 despite his two appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side while Ryan Huddart - an unused substitute for Arsenal’s Champions League encounters with Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund - could start in goal.

Dan Crowley is the under-19s’ top scorer in the Youth League with five goals from six games and he is expected to play behind Mavididi, who scored against Galatasaray.

Elsewhere, Tyrell Robinson could feature at left back while tricky winger Chris Willock and right back Chiori Johnson have also impressed for Arsenal’s reserve side this season.


Tyrell Robinson scores against Galatasaray

Tyrell Robinson scores against Galatasaray



Should the young Gunners beat Reading on Friday, they will host Royston Town in the fourth round of the competition. Royston have battled through seven rounds to reach the final 32.

Arsenal kick off against Reading at 7pm at Meadow Park where entry is free for all youth games.

Alternatively you can follow the game on Twitter @Arsenal from 6.55pm.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Premier League
Ticket Info