Pre-Match Report

U-23s: Arsenal v Derby - The Brief

Bukayo Saka

We will be hoping to extend our unbeaten streak to seven Premier League 2 games on Monday night when we face Derby County at Meadow Park.


We head into this fixture on the back of a 1-0 win over West Ham, courtesy of Tyreece John-Jules’ first-half finish.

That was the 17-year-old’s 13th goal across all competitions this season, having scored for the first team in Dubai just three days earlier.

Arthur Okonkwo also delivered an impressive performance between the sticks, ensuring that he kept a clean sheet on his PL2 debut.

Prior to that, Folarin Balogun and Nathan Tormey struck late on to salvage a point against Swansea City, before we held league leaders Everton to a 0-0 draw on the road.

As a result, we’re heading into Monday’s fixture knowing we could finish the season as high as second in the PL2 table.

However, this is only possible if Brighton slip up and we win each of our three remaining fixtures.



It was a night to forget the last time we faced the Rams, as we were beaten 5-0 at Loughborough University Stadium in November.

Laurent Koscielny made his return from injury and played the opening 45 minutes, before Danny Ballard and Jordi Osei-Tutu were shown straight red cards, sparking a second-half onslaught from the hosts.

Koscielny tackle GIF for under-23s

Koscielny tackle GIF for under-23s


Derby head into Monday’s game struggling for form in the PL2, having recently slipped to back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Liverpool.

They’re currently fourth in the table after 19 fixtures and remain just one point ahead of us, despite winning two more games.

The Rams have conceded 11 goals fewer than us this season, making them one of the most organised sides in the division, but we’re considerably more dangerous in attack, scoring 37 to their 26.

Cameron Cresswell is their top goalscorer this season with six goals in 19 PL2 appearances.

Cameron Cresswell


After inspiring our under-18s to victory over Tottenham Hotspur last week, Bukayo Saka will be keen to maintain his fine form and once again make the difference.

Trailing 2-0 in the 59th minute, the 17-year-old came off the bench and made an almost instant impact, scoring once and assisting our equaliser.

Tottenham’s defence were unable to handle Saka’s electric pace and intelligent movement, but that’s no surprise.

The England under-19 international has troubled just about every side he’s faced this season, scoring 11 goals and assisting nine across all competitions.



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

The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 7pm (UK time). 

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