Athletic Bilbao v Arsenal, Kick off: 6.30pm, Venue: San Mamés

Terry Burton’s young guns have traveled to Spain ahead of their vital match against Athletic Bilbao this evening.

Arsenal have failed to score in their last three matches in the NextGen Series and are sitting in 3rd place, although possess enough potency to harm this Bilbao side who are bottom of the group.

Reice Charles-Cook could start in goal, with a centre half partnership of Sead Hajrovic and Elton Monteiro ahead of him. Hector Bellerin and Martin Angha are likely to fill either full-back position, although highly promising left-back Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill has traveled and will be hoping to claim a start.

In defensive midfield, Isaac Hayden is tipped to join Nico Yennaris, while Kris Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld and Serge Gnabry are set to form Arsenal’s forward triumvirate, with Chuba Akpom as the lone striker.

Midfielder Jon Toral, who can operate in a more reclined position as well as further forward, could also start, perhaps instead of Hayden.

Kyle Ebecilio is out for 12 weeks, which is a big blow for the team.

The likes of Anthony Jeffrey, Jack Jebb and Austin Lipman will be desperate to feature, although will be restricted to places on the bench.

Arsenal’s final two games in this competition are both against Bilbao, and nothing other than six points will suffice if they want to progress into the next round.

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FACT: for the first 50 or so years at Highbury, the North Bank was sometimes known as the “Laundry End” due to a steam laundry that was located on Gillespie Road.

FACT: the 1999 flick Plunkett And Macleane starring Robert Carlyle features two characters called Dixon and Winterburn.

FACT: During its time as Arsenal’s home, Highbury was also used as a venue on a handful of occasions for games of baseball, cricket, hockey, rugby – and of course the famous Cooper-Ali boxing fight.

These fact-tastic facts, Reader, can be found by opening just one page-spread of the new version of the Arsenal Miscellany, published by Vision Sports.

The little hardback book is a compact compilation of a range of Arsenal related trivia and will even fit inside a large jacket pocket during bitter long winter-time trips to away games oop north.

Or if you’re too embarrassed to be seen with a book on awaydays, it makes for ideal bed-time or bog-time reading.

And now YOU can win a FREE copy of the book, right here on G4L. Simply answer this easy question:

Arsenal have lifted the Charity Shield a dozen times, but on one of these occasions it was shared with the opposition. Who did Arsenal share the Charity Shield with? Was it:

a) Sheffield Wednesday
b) Preston North End
c) T*ttenham

Click on the “contact” tab above and send over your answers. The lucky winner will be announced on 16th November.


(Alternatively, you can buy the book direct from its publishers here)

Update: well done to Mr John Pickford from London, who correctly answered c). Arsenal shared the charidee shield with that lot up the road in 1991, after the Gunners won the league by losing only one game all season.

Terry Burton’s U21 side could go top of the league with a win against their West Ham counterparts at London Colney today, as Wojciech Szczesny makes his comeback appearance for the Gunners.

After the 2-1 defeat of Bolton last week, Burton may opt against any major alterations to the starting line-up as he looks to preserve a winning formula.

Chuba Akpom is tipped to play up front and will be keen to add to his goal tally after netting against Bolton.

Behind him could be a trio of Thomas Eisfeld, Kris Olsson and Serge Gnabry, although Josh Rees will be hoping to claim a start.

Isaac Hayden is poised to continue his progress at this level, starting in a defensive midfield position alongside Nico Yennaris or Jon Toral.

Versatile Dutchman Kyle Ebecilio could also be in contention, although it is unclear whether or not he has fully recovered from his injury.

In defence, Ignasi Miquel could return after a short injury lay-off, potentially partnered by Sead Hajrovic at centre half.

Hector Bellerin and Martin Angha are likely to fill either full back position, with Szczesny in goal.

It will be a competitive game against league leaders West Ham, who dismantled Arsenal 4-1 in the corresponding fixture earlier this season. Burton’s young guns will be confident of a win, though, in a match where attention will be focused on a certain Polish goalkeeper.

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