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Reading vs Arsenal U21: EFL Trophy Match Preview 2023/24

Who will finish at the top of the group?

Arsenal U21 v Manchester City U21: Premier League 2 Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Reading get a break from league action tonight as they take on Arsenal’s U21 team in the EFL Trophy.

With both teams already through, this evening will only determine who ends up finishing top of the group, with the Royals currently in first place on six points.

More remarkably, their goal difference is 14 at the moment following big wins against Exeter City and Swindon Town, and the Berkshire side will be hoping to secure another big win tonight.

We have a short preview for you ahead of the game.

What? EFL Trophy group stage matchday 3

Season? 2023/24

Who? Arsenal U21

Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium

When? Tuesday 14th November

Time? 7pm

Opposition Manager? Mehmet Ali

Pre-Match Thoughts

Tonight is irrelevant compared to the league - but it looks like we’re all but down already and another EFL sanction will only make things harder.

A trip to Wembley would be great and it would be nice to get some silverware, but I would take survival over an EFL Trophy.

At least tonight gives Ruben Selles the chance to play some of those who don’t usually get an opportunity to shine.

Even if we win though, we never take that momentum into the league. And it seems quite clear that Selles isn’t the man for the job.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Pereira, Carson, Mola, Holmes, Mbengue, Abrefa, Craig, Rushesha, Elliott, Ehibhatiomhan, Vickers

Joel Pereira gets the chance to start between the sticks again, with Clinton Mola, Tom Holmes and Amadou Mbengue making up a back three. It doesn’t seem as though league suspensions can be served in the EFL Trophy, so it could be a good game for Mbengue to get himself back up to speed.

This back three gives Matty Carson and Kelvin Abrefa the ability to get forward and be a threat from out wide. Both have the potential to be thorns in the Gunners’ side.

Michael Craig and Tivonge Rushesha team up in the middle of the park again, with Ben Elliott starting ahead of them as someone who can venture forward without having many defensive responsibilities.

Up top, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan and Caylan Vickers seem like a good combination, with the former able to use his height and strength to provide service to the latter.

Score Prediction: Reading 2-0 Arsenal U21

Other EFL Trophy Fixtures

Blackpool vs Morecambe

Stevenage vs Crystal Palace U21

Newport County vs Bristol Rovers

Carlisle United vs Harrogate Town

Tranmere Rovers vs Wigan Athletic

Stockport County vs Bolton Wanderers

Shrewsbury Town vs Walsall

All of these games get underway at 7pm tonight