Pre-Match Report

U-23s: Swansea v Arsenal - The Brief

Joe Willock

Our under-23s will be hoping to return to winning ways on Friday when they face Swansea City at Landore Training Centre.

THE STORY SO FAR

Following a hard-fought goalless draw with league leaders Everton on Monday night, we extended our unbeaten run to seven Premier League 2 fixtures - but after missing a handful of golden opportunities, Freddie Ljungberg’s side will be hunting for all three points on Friday night.

A win will take us two points above Everton, who we currently trail by goal difference only, while a draw will give us a one-point lead at the top of the table.

We’ve scored 17 goals over the course of the season so far - averaging 2.1 per game - in addition to keeping three clean sheets in our last four PL2 fixtures.

Arsenal U-23's celebrate their opener against West Ham

THE OPPOSITION

The hosts head into this fixture struggling for form, having failed to win any of their eight opening league fixtures.

They’ve picked up three draws and five losses, in addition to scoring just six goals all season. The Swans have also had little joy at the back, conceding two goals per game on average, as well as recording just one clean sheet.

They’ve slipped to defeat in each of their last three outings in all competitions, but regardless of form, we must be wary of their midfield general, Adnan Maric. The 21-year-old wears the captain’s armband and has proven himself to be a reliable option at the base of midfield. He’s also their joint top goalscorer this season with two to his name. 

Maric - Swansea

ONE TO WATCH

After missing two golden chances late on against Everton on Monday night, Eddie Nketiah will be keen to get back among the goals on Friday night. 

The 19-year-old scored 12 times and assisted twice in 13 PL2 appearances last season, and he’s already added four more to his tally under the guidance of Ljungberg.

The England Under-21 international is sharp on the turn, clinical in front of goal, and effective at bringing his teammates into play. If Nketiah starts on Friday night, you can expect him to make the difference in the final third.

Nketiah celebrates

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