MATCH PREVIEW: Leyton Orient v Arsenal XI (U21s)

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Leyton Orient finish off their pre-season by hosting an Arsenal XI tonight. With the Emirates Cup taking place this weekend it seems highly likely that the Gunner’s side will consist of academy players rather than senior first team players.

The Orient lineup is expected to be similar to the side that played against the New York Cosmos last week, however having played against QPR on Saturday and with the season kicking off this weekend first team players may not play the full 90 minutes.

Therefore, Russell Slade may take the opportunity to take another look at some trialists as he continues his search for another central midfielder.Last Friday the team that faced St Albans included no fewer than six trialists. Ex-Watford midfielder Ross Jenkins may be given another opportunity to impress in tonight’s game, along with John Gorman(ex-Wolves), George Bowerman (ex-Walsall) and Ben Sampayo (ex-Brighton).

Arsenal’s first team squad have just returned from their Asia Tour where they enjoyed victories over all four of their opponents, scoring a total of 19 goals whilst conceding just three times. They began their trip by putting seven goals past both the Indonesia Dream Team and Vietnam. They then travelled to Japan where they claimed more modest wins over J-League sides Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Red Diamonds. Youngsters Chuba Akpom and Gedion Zelalem travelled with the senior side and performed well during the tour. None of the young players that were a part of the trip to Asia are expected to feature tonight.

While the more senior members were away the Arsenal youngsters have played freindly matches against Sutton United and Boreham Wood as well as travelling to Germany to take part in the RUHR Cup, a pre-season youth tournament that included Borussia Dortmund, Zenit St Petersburg and Valencia.

The Arsenal academy claimed a narrow 4-3 win over Sutton thanks to a brace from Jack Jebb as well as goals from Anthony Jeffrey and Isaac Hayden. They then suffered a 3-0 defeat to Boreham Wood.

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There are thought to be a numbe of injury problems within the Arsenal academy side, while Spanish right back Hector Bellerin has only just returned from the under-19 European Championships so he is also unlikely to play. Tonight’s lineup is expected to be similar to those that faced Sutton and Boreham Wood.

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