Pre-Match Report

U-23s: Arsenal v West Ham United - The Brief

Willock

We will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League 2 on Friday night when we host West Ham United at Meadow Park.

THE STORY SO FAR 

The last time we faced the Hammers we found ourselves leading by three goals at the break, but things took an unfortunate turn during the half-time interval, as the referee was forced to abandon the match due to heavy fog. 

That game arrived after a comprehensive 5-1 win over Manchester City, and set us on our way to defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on the road.

Since then, however, we’ve been held to back-to-back draws against Swansea City and Everton.

Folarin Balogun and Nathan Tormey struck late on to salvage a point against the Swans, before we delivered a spirited defensive performance against league leaders Everton.

A win on Friday could see us climb up to fifth in the table.

Eddie Nketiah remains our top goalscorer with seven goals in nine games, while Joe Willock has five goals in 10.

Joe Willock

THE OPPOSITION 

West Ham are currently 11th in the table, having picked up just 19 points from 18 outings.

However, they’ve displayed fluid attacking football throughout the season and managed to score more goals than any other side in the division (36). Joe Powell and Xande Silva have scored seven apiece

But there’s a reason the Hammers find themselves struggling in the table. Liam Manning’s side have conceded 39 goals this season, shipping on average 2.1 per game. Only Manchester City have a worse defensive record. 

In fact, last week’s 3-0 win over Swansea City saw the Hammers keep their first clean sheet of the season. Dan Kemp popped up with a brace, while Mesaque Dju was also on the scoresheet.

Click play on the video below to watch the highlights from our 3-2 win over the Hammers at London Stadium... 

04:00

U-23s: West Ham United (a) - Highlights


ONE TO WATCH 

Charlie Gilmour could prove to be the difference on Friday night.

The 20-year-old midfielder is tough in the tackle, physically strong and provides plenty of cover for our backline.

A cool head is exactly what we need and Gilmour is more than capable of providing that.

He’ll also be full of confidence after training with the first team in Dubai last week - and playing 67 minutes in our 3-2 win over Al-Nasr SC.

Charlie Gilmour

FOLLOW THE ACTION 

You can receive live updates by following our Twitter @ArsenalAcademy

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

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