Our under-23s have the opportunity to top the Premier League 2 table on Friday night when they face Derby County at Pride Park.
THE STORY SO FAR
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.
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.
ONE TO WATCH
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.
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
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.