Ready for Arsenal again

Last updated : 11 April 2008 By Tony Scholes
Chris Anderson
Thomas Bradley
Dan Brown
Dil Chaggar
James Craggs
Lewis Craig
Wes Fletcher
Ben Hoskin
Adam Kay
Nik Kudiersky
Matt Lomas
Chris Lynch
Alex MacDonald
Alex-Ray Harvey
Stef Ritchie
Jonathan Sergeant
Dean Stott
Rob Turner

Having been beaten in the FA Cup against Arsenal last Sunday the youth team now get their chance to try and get one over on the Premier League leaders in the FA Youth Cup.

This is the second attempt at playing this game, it was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Accrington on 8th December and is the one remaining game to be played in this season's third round.

We couldn't have been given a tougher draw, but as was the case with the first team, this is a fantastic opportunity for our lads to pit their wits against the Gunners. They'll be up against one of the best youth teams in the country but if they show the sort of form they have done in games this season then we'll certainly give them a difficult ninety minutes.

Head of Youth Development Vince Overson is fully aware of the task in hand. "The lads have been buzzing since the draw was announced and despite the delay I think this will be a night to savour," Overson said.

"This is a dream fixture for the lads. When you become a footballer you want to test yourself against the best teams and Arsenal are exactly that. We have done our homework and I have spoken to people who tell me something I expected, that Arsenal are a very good side.

"They mirror their first team in that they are technically good, just what you would expect from a top Premier League Academy team. However, I would prefer to concentrate on our lads and I am quite confident that if we go into the game doing our jobs properly, then Arsenal are beatable."

The Burnley team has been selected and the lads have been told and Overson added: "We have told the lads who will be playing, although there are a few ifs and buts. There will be a couple of them disappointed but we can only put eleven out there. We have a great spirit and so they are all looking forward to it."

The disappointing news for the lads is that they cannot play it at Turf Moor, but with the pitch not at its best the club have elected to move it to Accrington. Vince admits he's disappointed for the lads but accepts the situation and said: "I am hoping and praying for a good crowd."

If you can get there tonight to support the lads then please do. It kicks off at 7:00 p.m. and admission is £4 adults, £2 concessions. Let's hope we can get a decent crowd there.

The Arsenal squad is unknown but it should include a few English players who have been involved with the England Under 17 and 18 squads this season. We might not have heard of them yet but Emmanuel Frimpong, Jason Banton, Sam Byles, Oliver Nicholas, Chuks Aneke and believe it or not Tom Cruise could all feature for the side headed by former Gunners Liam Brady (Head of Youth Development) and Steve Bould (Youth Coach).

Burnley will select from the eighteen players shown above

Goalkeepers: Jonathan Sergeant, Stef Ritchie

Defenders: Thomas Bradley, Dan Brown, Ben Hoskin, Chris Lynch, Nik Kudiersky, Matt Lomas, Dean Stott

Midfielders: Chris Anderson, Dil Chaggar, Lewis Craig, James Craggs, Adam Kay, Alex MacDonald, Alex-Ray Harvey

Forwards: Wes Fletcher, Rob Turner