- Arsenal are next up for Leicester City’s Under-18s on Saturday (11:30am kick-off)
- The Gunners are three points behind the Foxes in the Premier League U18 South standings
- Coach Adam Barradell expects a tricky test in Shenley, despite City’s run of form
- The team will be going about their business in the same way, he adds
The young Foxes are set to take on the Gunners in a 11:30am kick-off at Arsenal Training Centre, with just three points separating the pair in Premier League U18 South. City will be eyeing a win in order to return to the league’s summit.
It was the home side who came out on top when the sides faced off at LCFC Training Ground earlier this season, when goals from Kian Pennant and Chris Popov secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory in October. Barradell is expecting another tricky challenge in Shenley this weekend.
“Arsenal is always a tough game and we’ll have to be at our best to do well against them,” he told LCFC.com. “They are always set up well with Dan Micciche and have very fluid, good technical players. But we certainly won’t be going down there fearing Arsenal.
“It will be a case of putting our stamp and style on the game and how we play. Certainly, it will be a good test.
Ultimately, we want both – to be near the top of the table and the performance level to be high week in, week out, and that’s what we strive for.Adam Barradell LCFC.com
“It’s great to be around the top of the league and great to have that competition. We’re at that stage in the boys’ development where they are looking at league tables and they want to be around the top end come the end of the season.
“I think what’s important at Under-18s level is that we’re still in that stage where it’s the performance as well. Ultimately, we want both – to be near the top of the table and the performance level to be high week in, week out, and that’s what we strive for.
“Because we know if we get that, the individual development is going to be improving the players.”
City recorded an impressive 5-1 success away at AFC Bournemouth in the FA Youth Cup last week, sealing their spot in the quarter-finals of the competition. Buoyed by that performance and result, the group can head into Saturday’s clash with confidence, the coach believes.
Will Alves made his mark in the FA Youth Cup success at Vitality Stadium.
He added: “We spoke as a group about carrying on the momentum and getting the performance that we wanted in the FA Youth Cup. They are heightened games, more pressured games, and to be able to perform at the level we did, not for 90 minutes, but for the majority of the game, was pleasing.
“It just gives us extra confidence with a scoreline like that, going into the next stage of the competition and to carry on the league programme.
“It’s been about the process really and the daily habits. The standards we work at as a group of staff and players and the level we try and hit in training and taking that into games. That’s no different if we’re playing Premier League Cup, within the league or the FA Youth Cup.
“We try and stick to how we work and continue the development that is showing really.”
All times GMT.
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