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Fixture News

A fixture the lads are relishing

2 May 2016

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Rovers' Under-21s resume their promotion push on Tuesday evening when they travel to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

An unbeaten run of four wins and a draw from the development squad has seen them finish in the end of season play-off positions, with their reward being tomorrow night's match against the Gunners.

And for u21s lead coach Damien Johnson, the game is just reward for the way the team has performed throughout the campaign.

"It is a nice way to finish the season for us," said the former Northern Ireland international. "All credit to the lads, to finish in the top five and getting into the play-offs.

"It is a great fixture at one of the best stadiums in the country and one of the biggest clubs in Europe so the lads are relishing the prospect."

As has been the case the the majority of the season, a young squad is expected to travel south today for the clash, but there will be plenty of big match experience amongst the group following their exploits in the FA Youth Cup this season.

Like Arsenal, Rovers reached the semi-finals of the coveted youth competition, before losing to eventual winners Chelsea 4-1 on aggregate over two legs. And the majority of that squad are likely to feature at the Emirates.

Johnson added: "As an Academy that is how we want to go, we'd rather have a young Under-21s and in fairness to the group they have had to juggle the competitions.

"They've had the Youth League and the Youth Cup as well as the Under-21s so full credit to them, they've shown that they can handle it. They've had a good run in the Youth Cup and they've finished the season well with the Under-21s.

"And all that with a young group is perfect because that is what the club wants."

Rovers and Arsenal have a win apiece from their league meetings this season. At Arsenal's training ground the home side won 3-2, before Rovers claimed the points at Leigh Sports Village last month with a 1-0 win.

The winners of tomorrow's match will play Aston Villa who defeated Swansea City 2-1 in the other semi-final.

Kick-off at the Emirates is at 7.00pm, updates from the match will be on the website and twitter via @onerovers.

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