Arsenal reserves take on Tottenham in the Reserve League South at Underhill tonight in the first of three consecutive home fixtures for Neil Banfield’s side. The second-string are in decent form going into this fixture, with their unbeaten run now extended to three matches. Last time out, they took the lead against Chelsea through Alex Song, before Franco Di Santo cancelled it out for the Blues. The last time these two sides met was in September when they played out a 0-0 draw.
The reserves sit fifth in the table and whilst winning the league is not beyond them, it certainly looks unlikely. However, Neil Banfield has set his squad a target of remaining unbeaten until the end of the season and that is certainly acheivable. After tonight’s battle with Spurs, the Gunners face successive home fixtures against West Ham and Derby, before rounding off the season with a trip to face Aston Villa.
In terms of team news, Henri Lansbury is not yet fully fit and with the under-18s in action tomorrow against Millwall, Banfield can once again call on the first-team experience of Lukasz Fabianski, Johan Djourou and Armand Traore. There is also a welcome return for Gilles Sunu up front, starting only his second reserve game of the season.
subs: Mannone, Cruise, Steer, Watt.
Tottenham name a strong side including first-teamers Gilberto, Chris Gunther and Adel Taarabt, who caused the Gunners all sorts of problems in this fixture last season. Former Arsenal ‘keeper Lee Butcher is on the bench for Spurs.
Full match report to come later tonight.