Pre-Match Report

U-23s: Arsenal v Brighton - The Brief

Ljungberg in training

Our under-23s will face Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on Monday night, as they hunt for their first win of the 2018/19 season.

THE STORY SO FAR

This fixture will be Freddie Ljungberg’s second game in charge of our under-23s, following an entertaining 6-5 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of the season. 

Emile Smith Rowe (2), Krystian Bielik, Xavier Amaechi and Stephy Mavididi all worked their way onto the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough to stop City leaving with all three points. Nabil Touaizi Zoubdi scored the all important goal in the 87th minute to complete his hat-trick and deny us a draw.

League positions are largely irrelevant at this stage of the season, but three points could see us climb as high as second in the Premier League 2 table.

It will also be the first time that Ljungberg has visited Emirates Stadium as a manager.

THE OPPOSITION

Brighton & Hove Albion kicked off their 2018/19 season with a 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the Premier League 2.

Former Gunner Hugo Keto started between the sticks for the Seagulls and he made a number of stunning saves, ensuring that he kept a clean sheet in his debut appearance for the club. 

They finished the 2017/18 season in third place - having recorded 40 points from 22 outings - and managed to gain promotion to division one of the Premier League 2 through the play-offs. 

ONE TO WATCH

Emile Smith Rowe comes into this fixture off the back of an impressive pre-season with the first-team and a brace against Manchester City’s under-23s.

With an eye for a pass and a track record of producing in the final third, Smith Rowe is at his best on the left wing or in the no 10 position - and will most likely be the main source of creativity for Ljungberg’s side this season. 

He recorded eight goals and three assists in 20 appearances across all youth levels and competitions last season. He also scored a stunning goal the first team in our pre-season clash against Atletico Madrid.

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