Pre-Match Report

U-21s: Cheltenham Town v Arsenal - The Brief

Willock and John-Jules

Our under-21s travel to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Tuesday to face Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.

THE STORY SO FAR

It’s been more than a month since we kicked off our Checkatrade Trophy campaign in the fine fashion.

Freddie Ljungberg’s side ran out 3-0 winners over Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena, with Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock all on target.

Since then, our under-23s have played five Premier League 2 fixtures without l defeat - keeping three clean sheets along the way.

The highlight was a comprehensive 4-0 win over Liverpool at Meadow Park, where Bukayo Saka scored his first goal at under-23 level and Nketiah hit a brace. Willock rounded off the scoring with a fine solo goal. 

We’ve scored 18 goals in nine PL2 fixtures this season, and remain just two points behind league leaders Everton (18).

We’re second in Group E of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Bukayo Saka

THE OPPOSITION

Cheltenham Town kicked-off their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a trip to fellow League Two outfit, Forest Green Rovers, but things didn’t go to plan as they were beaten 4-0 at The New Lawn. 

They now find themselves bottom of Group E - and things aren’t much better in League Two either.

The Robins head into this fixture struggling for form, having failed to pick up a win in any of their last nine league outings. This includes five defeats and four draws, conceding an average of 1.6 goals per game. 

ONE TO WATCH

Charlie Gilmour scored the equalising goal in our under-23s’ 1-1 draw with Swansea City on Friday - but it was his dominant midfield performance that helped us to extend our unbeaten streak. 

The 19-year-old is composed in possession, tough in the tackle and a real physical presence at the heart of our midfield. Gilmour’s often left with the task of protecting our defence - and this offers our frontline greater attacking freedom in the final third.

Charlie Gilmour

FOLLOW THE ACTION 

Kick-off will take place at 7:45pm (UK time) - and you can follow LIVE updates at our new academy focused Twitter account @ArsenalAcademy 

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