Second-year scholar Craig Eastmond will be looking to prove his fitness in training this week ahead of Saturday’s under-18s clash with Ipswich at Playford Road. The Wandsworth-born youngster didn’t feature against Southampton last weekend after he suffered an injury ahead of the Reserve game with West Ham.
Eastmond started the season as a right-back but has since been pushed into midfield following the emergence of Rhema Obed. Craig has played on both wings as well as in the centre and is determined to play as many games as possible this season as he looks to win a professional contract next summer.
If he doesn’t make the trip to Ipswich, then Francis Coquelin may feature again in central-midfield although coach Steve Bould may opt to give the Frenchman a breather ahead of the Reserves game with Fulham next Monday. Other options are Emmanuel Frimpong and Oguzhan Ozyakup who have both returned from international duty.
The Gunners currently sit top of Premier Academy League Group A and are unbeaten in five matches. The Ipswich game kicks off at 11AM on Saturday and a full preview will be available on Friday afternoon with a match report to follow.