Another chapter in this season’s NextGen Series will be unveiled later today as Arsenal look to book a place in the quarter-finals. The Young Gunners would be creating a date with Russian side CSKA Moscow in the last eight after they dispatched of PSV Eindhoven with ease in their second round tie.
Arsenal however have ominous opposition in the form of reigning champions Inter Milan. Inter may not have played at the same level as they did in last season’s edition of the competition but they are certainly still a force to be reckoned with. Arsenal can take solace that Liverpool made the Italian side work hard in both fixtures during their Group Stage ties including a 4-1 victory in their final encounter.
For Arsenal it has been an up-and-down campaign and they have made it this far without being sensational as many predicted for them prior to the campaign but with English senior sides struggling in European competition this season it would be a welcome relief to see the young pretenders performing at a higher level; an Arsenal victory would make them the fourth team from England to make it into the quarter-finals.
To join Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham in the last eight it will take an assured performance at Centro Sportivo Facchetti to overcome their illustrious rivals. But after watching Chelsea, Aston Villa and Tottenham overcome the likes of Barcelona, Ajax and PSG respectively hope must be high in the Arsenal camp.
One piece of bad news is the injury to goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook. He has damaged his finger on loan at Chelmsford City so looks unlikely to feature in the tie meaning Joshua Vickers or Dejan Illiev will likely deputise.
The good news comes from the recent form of Chuba Akpom who has been finding the net at will in the youth system and will be looking to continue that form in the NextGen competition and fire Arsenal to glory.
In other NextGen News; Aston Villa now know their opposition in the quarter-finals after Olympiakos defeated Anderlecht at the tail-end of February. A double from Nikos Ioannidis was enough to overcome their Belgian rivals.
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