Pre-Match Report

Preview: Chelsea vs Arsenal U-23s

Steve Bould’s side could claim top spot in the Premier League 2 with victory against Chelsea on Friday evening. 

THE STORY SO FAR 

We’re still unbeaten in the league after a run of three wins and four draws. 

Our youngsters opened the campaign with back-to-back wins, and were unlucky to concede late against last season’s champions Everton to draw at home. We then produced a stunning comeback from two goals down to draw with Derby County at Pride Park.

Tyreece John-Jules bagged a brace against Leicester City which handed us three points at Emirates Stadium as we came from a goal down, but we were denied top spot in the league a week later when Wolves snatched a point in second-half stoppage time. 

Before the international break, we extended our unbeaten run to seven matches by coming from two goals down to draw at home with Liverpool.

Curtis Jones’ double fired the Reds into a commanding lead 10 minutes before half-time but on the stroke of the interval, Nathan Tormey beat the offside trap to slot home. 

Early in the second half, Hector Bellerin’s cross was tapped in by Folarin Balogun, completing the comeback.

We currently sit fourth in the table behind Chelsea, Everton and Derby. 

OUR OPPONENTS 

Chelsea are also unbeaten so far this season and currently sit top of the table. 

The Blues opened their campaign in identical form to us, with two wins, followed by back-to-back draws. Prior to the international break, victories against Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton saw them climb to the league summit before a draw with Leicester kept them there. 

Last season, we played were beaten 5-4 at home as Chelsea narrowly claimed three points but in the revere fixture, Eddie Nketiah stole the show as his brace alongside a Carl Jenkinson strike secured us a 3-1 away victory. 

ONE TO WATCH

After successful loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Luton Town and Plymouth Argyle, Matt Macey has shown his experience between the sticks so far this season. 

The goalkeeper returned to action in the 1-1 draw with Northampton Town in the Leasing.com Trophy, but couldn’t prevent us gaining just one point despite making a great save in the penalty shootout. 

Arguably his best performance so far this season was in our 1-0 Leasing.com Trophy defeat to Peterborough, where he made a host of superb saves to keep us in the match.


FOLLOW THE ACTION

You can receive live updates by following our Twitter account @ArsenalAcademy 

Stay close to Arsenal.com for our match report and post-match reaction from Steve Bould. 

By Sam Cox