Our under-18s will face Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night.
THE STORY SO FAR
We head into this fixture in fine form having picked up three wins from our last three outings in all competitions.
This includes our third-round clash against Northampton Town, where we ran out 2-0 winners at Meadow Park thanks to goals from Folarin Balogun and Zak Swanson.
It was the perfect start to our FA Youth Cup campaign - and it’s no surprise when you look at the U-18 Premier League table.
We’re currently second on 33 points, having won 11 games from 13 outings, scoring 42 and conceding 16.
Tottenham kicked off their Youth Cup campaign with a dramatic 2-1 win over Millwall on the road.
Billy Mitchell’s first-half strike looked set to send the hosts through to the fourth-round of the competition, but J’Neil Lloyd-Bennet popped up with a stoppage time goal to take the tie to extra-time. Rodel Richards then scored the all-important goal in the 94th minute.
Elsewhere, Matt Wells’ side remain undefeated in the U-18 PL after 13 fixtures, winning 11 and drawing two.
They’ve also scored 12 more goals than any other side (54), with Troy Parrott scoring 11 goals and assisting three in just seven league appearances this season.
ONE TO WATCH
Balogun will be our greatest goalscoring threat on Thursday night, having scored 11 goals in 11 U-18 PL fixtures.
The 17-year-old forward is clinical in front of goal and is always looking to stretch the oppositions defence, creating space for his team-mates.
Capable of playing on the break or combining for a slick passing move, Balogun’s always a threat in the final third.
Sam Greenwood in particular has been able to thrive on Balogun’s movement, scoring six goals in 11 league appearances this season.
THE MANAGER’S NOTES
“Confidence is high and with our last win we’ve kept our winning run going, which is always a positive,” Ken Gillard told Arsenal.com.
“Everyone’s looking forward to the game so it’s going to be a great night for both sets of players, staff and supporters.
“It’s something to look forward to and the last time we played them it was a very good game - and I’m expecting more of the same this time out. I’m really looking forward to it.”
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