Matt Edwards
Wednesday 07 November 2018

Forest Green Rovers play host to Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal Under 21s side tonight in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Mark Cooper’s side head into the game knowing a point will be enough to secure them safe passage into the knockout stages of the competition.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the game:

What we said: 

Tahvon Campbell pre-Exeter

“We don’t know what the game will be like exactly, but what we do know is that we’ll approach it with 100 per cent commitment and hopefully we’ll get the win,” said striker Tahvon Campbell.

“I feel like progressing in this competition is key for the whole squad. Sometimes players who haven’t got a lot of minutes, myself included; it’s good for them to get competitive minutes.

“The further we go in the competition, the better it is for the whole team and we’d like to win and possibly go to Wembley at the end of it.”

What they said: 

“We have five games in 17 days and we’re young. I need to look at the bodies,” said Freddie Ljungberg.

“They’re not men yet and that’s tough. We’ve been trying to rotate against Swansea and we rotated again today. We have Chelsea again on Saturday and then Forest Green.

“That’s great for them (being England’s only Vegan club). I must say I haven’t looked into it too much. The players are asking what they’ll eat when they go there.

“It’s a great initiative, it’ll be interesting to go there and listen to them.”

Injury news:

Forest Green Rovers:

Reuben Reid vs Northampton

Reuben Reid returned from injury to play 20 minutes against Lincoln City at the weekend.

Meanwhile, both Liam Shephard and Lee Collins are ruled out with knee injuries.

Arsenal:

Ben Sheaf was replaced after just half an hour in Arsenal’s last outing in this competition with a recurrence of an injury that has kept him out for most of the season.

Fellow midfielder Robbie Burton will be suspended for the game after picking up a straight red in their heavy defeat to Cheltenham Town.

About: Arsenal

Freddie Ljungberg was appointed as head coach of Arsenal under-23s/21s in June 2018, and since then, his side have tasted defeat just once over the course of the season.

The Arsenal legend adopted a title winning side from Steve Gatting, but for the sake of player development, he’s had to handle losing a number of key players.

The Swede has heavily encouraged an attractive and expansive brand of football, with emphasis on playing out from the back and maintaining possession.

Seventeen-year-olds Bukayo Saka, Tyreece John-Jules and Xavier Amaechi have all regularly featured for the under-23s this season, and proven themselves to be valuable members of the squad. Meanwhile, established players such as Zech Medley, Joe Willock, Charlie Gilmour and Julio Pleguezuelo have all benefited from Ljungberg’s philosophy.

Key player: Eddie Nketiah

After scoring 24 goals in consecutive seasons at youth level, Eddie made his mark on the first team in 2017/18, with a match-winning brace during his home debut against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup.

The striker then went on to feature in the Premier League, Europe League and FA Cup, as well scoring 12 in 13 Premier League 2 appearances.

He already has six goals to his name in the Under 23s Premier League Division One, three behind top scorer Aaron Connolly of Brighton, and has already been named on the bench by Unai Emery this season.

Head-to-head:

This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

Coverage:

Full commentary of the match will be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as well as through the club’s digital audio offering– FGR LIVE.

Stay up to date on Twitter by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.

Tickets are still available on the day of the game so there is still time to make the trip and support the team.