(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)
After picking up four points from their opening two Premier League 2 games of the season, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 side will be going into Saturday’s North London Derby with Arsenal with good confidence in the squad (kick off is at 1pm). Always a highly competitive fixture, this game at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground (it is I believe being behind closed doors, so no spectators will be allowed in including myself), could see Arsenal make it four wins over Spurs at under 23 level in a row, should they win tomorrow. Spurs won one and drew one game from their opening two Premier League 2 matches of the season, while tomorrow’s rivals also won one and drew one of their opening two PL2 games of the season (they also beat Ipswich Town in the Checkatrade Trophy). Steve Bould’s Arsenal side have a fantastic squad of really talented young players who could make life difficult for Spurs on Saturday afternoon. 19 year old France under 20 international William Saliba who was signed from French side Saint-Étienne last summer, is a very highly thought of and talented central defender, who started Arsenal’s last under 23 game, so he could possibly start again tomorrow. Full Northern Ireland international Danny Ballard is another central defender, and he is a commanding one too, who has impressed against Spurs in the past at this level. Creative and highly skilful attacking midfielder Salah Oulad M’Hand (17) is an attacking player who has played in every game that the Arsenal development side have played in so far this season, and the young Dutchman is somebody who can and will take on and beat players. Also forwards George Lewis and Folarin Balogun are players who could cause Spurs’ defence some problems when the two sides meet. There is no doubting that this will be a very difficult game for Wayne Burnett’s side however, I know that Spurs have the quality to overcome Arsenal however, it does promise to be a fascinating game. I believe that Arsenal will be providing audio commentary for tomorrow’s game, also Spurs should be providing Twitter updates along with their match report on their official site. I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for this important league game.
My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Ferguson, Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, White, Thorpe, Richards, Markanday, Bennett, Sterling (c).
Subs from: De Bie, Skinner, Pedder, Pochettino, Etete.
Injured/unavailable: George Marsh (serving a three game suspension).
Doubtful: Malachi Fagan-Walcott.
Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.
My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.
My one to watch: Although there are so many Arsenal players that I could choose from, the one I’m going to choose for my one to watch section is clinical centre forward Folarin Balogun. The 19 year old is a very quick player whose movement off the ball and reading of the game makes him a very difficult player to defend against. Balogun scored 10 goals from 15 Premier League 2 appearances last season, so if he does play tomorrow then he is a player that the young Spurs defenders will have to be aware of.