The NextGen semi-final quartet will be finalised by the end of the day when Arsenal take on Russian outfit CSKA Moscow at The Emirates stadium tonight in the final quarter-final fixture.
The winner will go on to the semi-finals to be played at Lake Como in Italy with Chelsea waiting. For Arsenal the chance to set up a crunch tie with their London rivals will come under the floodlights of The Emirates; with a record attendance for a NextGen fixture expected to be present.
Over 6,000 tickets for the game have already been sold as Arsenal fans look to their young stars of the future for a pick me up after a difficult season for the first team.
But they will be up against difficult opposition as the Russian youngsters have exceeded everyones expectations with their performances in the competition this season.
They topped their Group which contained Chelsea and Ajax before defeating PSV Eindhoven 3-0 in a comfortable victory staged in Istanbul.
If Arsenal are to win they will have to get the ball past the impressive goalkeeper Sergei Revyakin and stop impressive front-man Sergei Seredin from having an impact on proceedings.
One player who is sure that playing at The Emirates will help inspire the Young Gunners is the first-team vice-captain Mikel Arteta. He and other players not on international duty are expected to be in attendance for the game to lend their support to the young pretenders:
“If they can get a good crowd and people are supportive of the young lads, for them it's going to be a very good experience. Playing for a club like Arsenal and in that stadium doesn't happen every day so they will be very lucky if that's the case. It's something to enjoy.”
Nico Yennaris, the sides captain, answered confidently when he was put the question that CSKA were the favourites to win the competition; simply replying ‘they haven’t played us yet’ but Terry Burton is being more cautiously optimistic admitting they may have to adapt their style against the bullish and deceptively skilful Russian outfit.
The Arsenal side have been doing a spot of team bonding ahead of the game with a trip to a go-karting centre last Thursday and were given the Friday off as they take their build-up to the fixture extremely serious.
And as ever the players have been expressing their excitement on Twitter …
IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT YOUT TICKETS FOR MONDAYS GAME DON'T FORGET TO BUY ONE!!— Nico Yennaris (@Nico_Yennaris) March 23, 2013
morning tweeps, big game today,buzzing !, can NOT disappoint , enjoy your week— Chuba Akpom 9 (@cakpom9) March 25, 2013
Make sure you got a ticket for monday!! If not, get one now!!!! #nextgen— kristoffer olsson (@krisolsson) March 23, 2013
image: © nextgenphoto