by Andrew Crawshaw
After a great start in the UEFA Youth League, a stuttering end to the group phase saw us in second place in our group and with an extra game to play to try and gain a place in the last 16.
The Youth League started with two entry streams, the first of which (of which we were a part) featured all of the teams in the Champions League, playing the same opponents as the Senior players on the same days.
The second featured the domestic youth champions of the 32 highest ranking associations (if a team qualified under both criteria they played through the Champions League route with a replacement club being chosen – hence Middlesbrough appearing). The games in this round are single leg only with the teams getting through via the Domestic Champions route having home advantage.
Our games to date have given the following results
|Dinamo Zagreb v Arsenal||16 Sept 2015||0 – 2|
|Arsenal v Olympiacos||29 Sept 2015||3 – 2|
|Arsenal v Bayern Munich||20 Oct 2015||2 – 0|
|Bayern Munich v Arsenal||4 Nov 2015||1 – 1|
|Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb||24 Nov 2015||1 – 2|
|Olympiacos v Arsenal||9 Dec 2015||2 – 0|
Three wins, one draw and 2 losses gave us 10 points in the group, sufficient for second place, Dinamo Zagreb won the group also with 10 points and Olympiacos were eliminated finishing third (also with 10 points), Bayern were bottom of the group with just the single point they got against us.
Anderlecht have reached this stage by winning two knock-out rounds each with a home and away leg.
|Brann v Anderlecht||30 Sept 2015||1 – 1|
|Anderlecht v Brann||7 Oct 2015||5 – 0|
|Servette v Anderlecht||2 Dec 2015||1 – 2|
|Anderlecht v Servette||6 Dec 2015||2 – 2|
An away draw and a thumping home win in the first round against the Norwegians of Brann followed by much closer games against the Bulgarians of Servette. Nothing to be afraid of but we need to bring our best players and game to Belgium on Tuesday afternoon.
Who will likely be in our team? We have tended to play relatively experienced players in this competition in the last couple of years so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide in the squad
- GK – Hugo Keto
- CBs – Krystian Bielik & Julio Pleguezuelo
- RB – Tafari Moore
- LB – Marc Bola
- Midfield – Ben Sheaf, Alex Iwobi
- Attacking Midfield – Daniel Crowley
- Left Wing – Chris Willock
- Right Wing Jeff Reine-Adelaide
- Striker – Stephy Mavididi
- GK – Ryan Huddart
- CB – Kristopher Da Graca
- LB – Ilias Chatzitheodoridis, Tyrell Robinson
- RB – Aaron Ayoma
- Mid – Ismael Bennacer, Marcus McGuane,
- Attack – Kaylen Hinds, Donyell Malen, Reiss Nelson
Of general interest the other UK clubs in this round of the competition are Middlesbrough who have a home tie against Dynamo Kyiv and Celtic have a home tie against Valencia on Wednesday. Chelsea and Manchester City have already reached the last 16 having won their Group stages and Manchester United were eliminated after coming third in their group.
Our game is being televised live in UK BT Sport Europe from 17:00 to 19:00, not sure elsewhere.
I’m joining Walter and a group of Belgian Gooners for the game, looking forward to the trip.
Coming up next, the view of the match from the Belgian end, courtesy of our resident Belgian correspondent. We’re really quite an international bunch these days.
The Untold Books
The next book will be The Arsenal Yankee by ex-Arsenal player and Arsenal scout Danny Karbassiyoon with a Foreword by Arsène Wenger. It will appear shortly.
The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon. Details of this and our previously published titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.
You might also enjoy…
- Bob Wilson writes for Untold Arsenal: that most unforgettable of days
- 9 February 1883: Birth of Bob Benson, the man who tragically died while playing a wartime friendly for Arsenal in 1916. In all he played 52 league games for Arsenal between 1913 and 1915.
- 9 February 1889: Arsenal 3 Gravesend 3. Arsenal refused to play extra time because of the late starting of the game and were disqualified from Kent Senior Cup.