Arsenal’s youngsters have already made comfortable progression in one cup competition this week, and the U21 side will be looking to do likewise when they travel to Motspur Park to play Fulham in the U21 Premier League Cup tomorrow evening.
A Benik Afobe goal was enough to see Steve Gatting’s side edge past Norwich City in the last round but Gatting will be all too aware that Fulham will provide a considerable obstacle given that they are top of the U21 Premier League at present having remained unbeaten in their eleven fixtures so far this season.
The two sides played out a goalless draw when they met in the league in late September, but Arsenal named something of a shadow side on that occasion, with their line-up for tomorrow’s fixture set to be considerably stronger.
Nico Yennaris, for instance, could feature having returned from a rather frustrating five-week loan spell with Bournemouth. Despite making the bench on several occasions, Yennaris didn’t play a single minute of competitive football for the Championship side and may well head out on loan again before the end of the month.
There have been murmurings in some quarters that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who hasn’t featured since August because of injury, could make his long-awaited comeback against Fulham, whilst Emmanuel Frimpong and Ryo may also be involved.
Several members of the side who helped to dispatch of Peterborough United in the FA Youth Cup on Monday may also be called upon here, with Chuba Akpom poised to remain at the club for the next couple of weeks at least after his proposed loan move to Brentford was put on hold due to the club’s lack of options up front.
With numerous scouts set to be in attendance, a positive performance tomorrow could help the likes of Afobe and Thomas Eisfeld secure loan moves, whilst Matt Macey, who has been largely impressive in goal since joining from Bristol Rovers earlier this season, is set to receive another run-out.
The main player to keep an eye on in terms of the opposition is Swedish striker Muamer Tankovic, who has scored eight goals at U21 level so far this season.