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U-23s: Arsenal v Porto - The Brief

THE STORY SO FAR

Steve Gatting’s side will be keen to get back to winning ways in our first-ever Premier League International Cup fixture when we take on Porto on Friday.

We sit in fifth place in the Premier League 2 table after nine games, and have won just once in our last three outings, picking up three points against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium.

THE OPPOSITION

Last year’s winners, Porto, are coming into the match off the back of two wins, having seen off Uniao Madeira and Real SC in the Segunda Liga in Portugal.

The Dragons beat Sunderland Under-23s 5-0 in the final of this competition back in May and will be hoping to replicate that achievement this season.

ONE TO WATCH

Joe Willock has earned first-team opportunities under Arsene Wenger this season

Following a series of impressive performances this season under Gatting, Joe Willock has been rewarded by Arsene Wenger with opportunities in the first team.

The 18-year-old central midfielder made his debut in the Carabao Cup against Doncaster Rovers in September, and has gone on to feature for Wenger’s side in the Europa League against BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade.

In our previous fixture, Willock scored a last-minute equaliser as we drew 2-2 with Chelsea.

LAST TIME WE MET

Alex Iwobi featured off the bench against Sporting Lisbon in 2015 for our NextGen third-place play-off

We haven’t played Portuguese opposition since we faced Sporting Lisbon in the NextGen third-place play-off in 2013.

Despite taking the lead through Thomas Eisfeld, Lisbon fought back through goals from Wilson Manafa, Ruben Seemed and Ricardo Esgaio.

Our side that afternoon featured the likes Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi.

To read our match report click here.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

We will be tweeting live updates on our Twitter account - @ArsenalFC.

Kick-off is at 7pm (UK time) on Friday.

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