Pre-Match Report

U-19s: Ludogorets v Arsenal - Preview

Krystian Bielik in action against Basel


"We need six points in these two games against Ludogorets if we want to get out of the group." - Krystian Bielik  


The Gunners go into Tuesday afternoon’s meeting against Ludogorets in Sofia with four points from their opening three group games.
A 0-0 draw away at PSG - one of last year’s finalists - was a decent return, before a painful last-gasp defeat to FC Basel at Meadow Park set them back.
Andries Jonker’s side fell behind in bizarre fashion, with Eray Cumart firing in a free-kick from inside his own half. However, they looked the stronger throughout, equalising through Vlad Dragomir before Neftali Manzambi’s late penalty claimed all three points for the Swiss side.
But when their backs were to the wall, Arsenal won when they needed to - beating Ludogorets 3-0 on home soil. Reiss Nelson made the breakthrough, before a double from Eddie Nketiah - his first goals in the Uefa Youth League - made the margin of victory more comfortable.
Now they need to build on that result in Sofia to bolster their chances of progressing from Group A.


Reiss Nelson has been one of Arsenal’s strongest performers so far this campaign. 
When at his dazzling best, Nelson has been too powerful and too smart for many defenders at this level.
After scoring the opener in the last meeting with Ludogorets, the 16-year-old will be hoping for more of the same against the Bulgarians.
Reiss Nelson in action against Ludogorets

Reiss Nelson in action against Ludogorets



Ludogorets come into the match as one of only three teams in the competition not to have registered a point yet.
After narrowly losing 1-0 to FC Basel in the opening game of the group, the Bulgarians were then beaten 8-1 by Paris Saint-Germain.
They then visited England to face the Gunners, but lost 3-0, meaning that they face an uphill struggle to attempt to keep their qualification hopes alive. 



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