Pre-Match Report

U-23s: Blackburn v Arsenal - The Brief

Nketiah celebrates

Our under-23s will be looking for their third consecutive Premier League 2 win on Monday night when they face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.


We kicked-off our PL2 season with two frustrating results, losing 6-5 to Manchester City before being held to a 1-1 draw by an experienced Brighton & Hove Albion side. 

Since then, however, our squad have shown a far greater understanding of how Freddie Ljungberg wants them to play.

We picked up our first three points of the season in a 3-1 win over West Ham United - where Eddie Nketiah scored twice - before comfortably defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Emirates Stadium. 

Joe Willock celebrates against Coventry City

Our under-21s then went on to beat Coventry City 3-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy last Wednesday, using a blend of players from the under-23s and under-18s. Emile Smith Rowe, Nketiah and Joe Willock were the names on the scoresheet.

Currently sitting in fifth place on seven points, a win on Monday night could see us climb to the top of the Premier League 2 table.


Blackburn Rovers come into this fixture struggling for form, as they hunt for their first win of the season.

They grabbed a point on the opening day of the season in a 2-2 draw with Derby County, but they’ve since been beaten by Chelsea, Leicester and Everton, conceding 10 goals along the way. 

Rovers are currently bottom of the table on just one point, averaging 0.75 goals per game.


Charlie Gilmour has impressed for our under-23s this season, starting each of our opening four PL2 fixtures.

Charlie Gilmour

Operating in central midfield, Gilmour has added great defensive cover for our fluid frontline and handed Joe Willock the freedom to push forward.

But this hasn’t been at the expense of his own game. Gilmour still plays a vital role in our build-up play and is more than capable of unlocking defences with long passes into the channels.

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