Match Preview: Arsenal U23s vs West Ham United U23s: Premier League Two Division One Matchday Eleven

Premier League 2

In the eleventh round of matches of the 2017/2018 PL2 Division One campaign, Terry Westley’s U23s travel to Hertfordshire to face off with Arsenal in an exciting London Derby.

The hosts, who sit a place and a point behind the young Hammers in the Standings, go into the tie off the back of defeat in Wales to Swansea City on Monday night, whereas, the away team are also low on confidence having slumped to successive losses against Benfica B in The PLI Cup on Tuesday night, poising things nicely.

When?

The affair will take place tonight (Friday 24 November 2017) with a kick-off time of 7:00 PM, on the same night that the first-team take on Leicester City in Stratford.

Unfortunately, there will be no Live Television or Radio Coverage available to view in The UK, but you can stay right here for updates on what is going on in The PL2 Encounter, in our Live Blog of the first team’s clash live from The London Stadium.

Where?

Boreham Wood FC’s Meadow Park Stadium will host the Claret & Blue starlets’ visit, a Ground that has been used by The Premier League club’s Youth teams since summer 2014.

Originally opening in 1963, the old-fashioned Arena houses just over 4,000, 1,700 of whom are seated and is also has also hosted selected home fixtures of Arsenal’s Ladies Team and Watford’s Academy.

Team News:

Expecting to lose the likes of Declan Rice and Antonio Martinez to David Moyes’ Senior Squad yet again, Terry Westley may be slightly light of playing staff heading into the short trip.

But, after resting many of his regulars in Billericay on Tuesday night and baaing the long-term absences of defender Noah Sylvestre and key midfielders Nathan Holland and Marcus Browne, he should be able to piece together a starting Xl worthy of causing The Gunners a few problems.

Meanwhile, Steve Gatting has no such issues and a Squad of vast talent to pick from, some of the brightest young starlets, not just in The Country, but in the Footballing World.

Examples of these include Edward Nketiah, who netted twice for their first-team in The Carabao Cup earlier in the season, American midfielder Gedion Zelalem and England U19 star Josh Dasilva.

Form:

The Development Squads of Arsenal and West Ham United have come up against each other seven times since in recent years, in the run-up to and after the restructure of Football at U21/U23 level.

The record makes for pleasant viewing for any Hammer with three victories in that time, just two for the side from North London and there have been two draws.

Last time out, in one of the final Development Squad fixtures to be played at Upton Park, the scores finished level with Alex Pike putting the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time and Chris Willock equalising late on for the visitors.

However, one that fans will perhaps remember more is the remarkable March 2014 encounter in which Arsenal claimed all three points with a thrilling 5-3 U21 Premier League win.

The Opposition:

Arsenal’s Development Squad and Academy are widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated in the World, with Youth teams that can match any other club on The World Stage for talent.

While currently possessing a star-studded Xl at U23 level, previous Academy graduates to have gone on to glittering Careers begin with names such as Tony Adams, Ashley Cole and Andy Cole, while more recent stars include Alex Iwobi and Jack Wilshere.

They are regulars in The UEFA Youth League and Premier League International Cup, as well as managing to perform consistently over a long period in The PL2 with an ever-changing side.

Nowadays, under the wise Management of former midfielder Steve Gatting, The Gunners sit fifth in The Division after a mixed start and will be hoping that the Festive period can yield a charge towards the top of the Table.

So, now that the Meadow Park scene has been well and truly set for a night of Development Squad action, will the host favourites claim all three points to move up into third place?

Or, can the young Hammers pull off another scalp on their travels to end any speculation of a midseason collapse? Head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to get your late score predictions in and have your say.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.