Spurs under 23’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)
After a bit of a break from action (owing to the bad weather conditions) our under 23’s return to action tomorrow when they travel to arch rivals Arsenal in an all important PL2 clash. Originally scheduled to take place at the gunners emirates stadium, the league match will now take place at Meadow Lane the home of Vanarama national league side Boreham Wood F.C. Both clubs couldn’t be in any different situations coming into this hugely important game, the gunners are near the top of the table fighting it out with league leaders Leicester City, second placed Liverpool and reigning champions Everton for the league title. And you’d have to fancy there chances, Steve Gatting’s side have been in scintillating form this campaign. Picking up 32 points from 17 games, the gunners have been lethal in front of goal scoring 39 times, the most of any team in the league. And it’s not hard to see why with players like Eddie Nketiah (potent striker), Reiss Nelson (mesmeric dribbler), Emile Smithe Rowe (De Bruynesque midfielder) and Tyrece John Jules all on their books. It also helps when you’ve got senior players such as Rob Holding and Mavropanos to choose from on occasions. With four league games to go, Burnett’s side will have there work cut out big time to win this one. Despite their late season renaissance, Burnett’s side who sit one point above the relegation zone, really need to be getting something from this game if they are going to survive relegation.
With both sides expected to field strong teams, this north London Derby will undoubtably have a competitive edge to it, with the stakes so high for both sides. It’s worth remembering that we did beat the gunners 3-2 in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way earlier on in the season, though due to Europa league involvement the gunners fielded a side consisting mostly of first and second year scholars on that occasion. One of the key players that day was winger Samuel Shashoua, having just recently returned from injury the creative force will be key to unlocking the gunners defence once again during tomorrows meeting. I will be reporting on the game from Boreham Wood and will have my match report up later that evening. COYS Lets make it three wins over Arsenal this year!
A side note: Some of you may have noticed me saying that our u18 midfielder Moroyin Omolabi had been out injured for some time, and that he was unlikely to be the Omolabi currently turning out for Reading (something which I spotted a couple of weeks ago). It turns out it is Omolabi and he appears to be on the way out from Spurs at the end of the season, I had confused Omolabi with another player. Mistakes happen!
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Eyoma, C.Maghoma (c), Tanganga, Bennetts, Skipp, Pritchard, Tracey, S.Shashoua, Georgiou, Sterling.
Subs from: Austin, Marsh, Brown, Roles, Griffiths.
Doubtful: Nick Tsaroulla.
Previous meetings: 3-2 Spurs, 2-0 Arsenal, 2-0 Arsenal.
My score prediction: 2-2.
One to watch: The gunners 18 year old centre forward Eddie Nketiah. It was just over a year ago that I was stood watching the young striker turn out for arsenal under 18’s against Spurs at Hotspur Way. A year and half on and the highly regarded England youth international has already made 8 appearances for the Arsenal senior team scoring twice, Nketiah was on the bench against AC Milan last night. A poacher who is clinical in and around the six yard box, Nketiah has 9 PL2 goals to his name this season and will prove a major goal threat if involved tomorrow.
U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-10