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Preview: Arsenal Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

A look ahead to this evening's encounter against the Gunners in Premier League 2 Divisio

12 March 2021

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Rovers Under-23s will be aiming to keep the pressure on table-topping Manchester City when they head south to take on Arsenal Under-23s this evening

Billy Barr's charges have had a fine season so far, and will be aiming for revenge on Steve Bould's side later today.

The Gunners inflicted a first defeat of the season on Barr's boys at Leyland at the back end of 2020.

Rovers recovered from that loss on home turf and have suffered defeat just twice since.

They come into tonight's contest on the back of an excellent home victory over Southampton B last time out.


Sam Burns' brace came either side of Joe Nolan's fourth goal of the season before Louie Annesley and Sam Durrant completed the 5-1 rout over the Saints.

The Development Squad earned a good point at Tottenham Hotspur last time out thanks to Sam Burns' second half spot kick in north London.

It's expected that Barr will take the same side to Meadow Park tonight, and he's also been boosted by Sam Barnes' return from suspension.

Annesley donned the armband against Southampton in his absence following Barnes' sending off at Tottenham Hotspur a couple of weeks ago.

But one definite absentee will be Luke Brennan, with injury keeping the winger out of contention.

The Gunners come into the game four points above the bottom two in the table and are without a win in their last five outings.

Like Rovers, their last game was also against Southampton, with the Londoners throwing away a  2-0 lead to draw with Dave Horseman's hosts.

And Barr's admits that his side are desperate to show their true quality against Arsenal this time around following the defeat in the last meeting.

“We’ll assess things and then prepare for Arsenal with the aim of getting the result down there," he said ahead of the game.

“It would be nice to get revenge considering they beat us at Leyland early in the season, even though is was self-induced on the night.

“We can use that as a stick to beat them with and we’d like to go through the season with nobody getting the double over us, particularly Arsenal.

“Our work will be done before now and then and we’ll be ready for that one."

Kick-off against the Londoners is at 7pm this evening.

Fans are reminded that there will be no access to the ground, with the game played behind closed doors at this time.

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