Pre-Match Report

Preview: Derby County v Arsenal U-23s


Our under-23s have the opportunity to top the Premier League 2 table on Friday night when they face Derby County at Pride Park.


We’ve made a strong start to 2019/20, winning two of our opening three fixtures, in addition to drawing with the champions, Everton, at Emirates Stadium last week.

We ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Blackburn on the opening day of the season, before Emile Smith Rowe scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.

We then went on to deliver a dominant attacking performance against Everton, but were unfortunately held to a 2-2 draw, despite scoring two stunning goals.

Tyreece John-Jules opened the scoring with an outrageous backheel volley in the fifth minute, before Robbie Burton applied the finishing touch to a well-worked team move. However, Anthony Gordon’s brace was enough to secure a point for the Toffees. 

We’re currently second in the table, trailing Chelsea by goal difference.

AFCU23 cele


Derby County will undoubtedly provide a tough test for our youngsters on Friday night.

Not only did they beat us by five goals in our last league meeting at Pride Park, but they’ve also made a promising start to 2019/20, winning two of their opening three fixtures.

They were beaten 1-0 by table-toppers Chelsea on the opening day of the season, but have since bounced back with a 1-0 win over Southampton and a 2-1 win over Tottenham.

The Rams finished seventh in the PL2 last term having picked up 30 points - seven fewer than us.

Morgan Whittaker, Duane Holmes and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson all have a single goal to their name this season.


Robbie Burton has proven to be one of our most important players so far this season.

Due to injuries and availability, the 19-year-old has had to step up in midfield and play alongside a number of attack-minded players, such as John-Jules and Smith Rowe.

Despite this, the youngster has offered a calming presence in the middle of the park and carried out his defensive duties admirably.

A tidy midfielder with quick feet and an impressive passing range, Burton has worn the captain’s armband in each of our opening three fixtures.

Robbie Burton


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