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Friday 21 September 2012

Barclays U21 Premier League: West Ham host Arsenal

Arsenal travel to West Ham on Friday; Selhurst Park hosts Chelsea on Monday

Chelsea's Marko Marin may appear against Crystal Palace U21s at Selhurst Park on Monday

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Two London derbies headline the Barclays U21 Premier League on Matchday 5 as unbeaten Arsenal go to West Ham United on Friday night and Crystal Palace host Chelsea at Selhurst Park on Monday.

With three wins and a draw to their name Arsenal boast the best record to date in the inaugural competition, but the Gunners can exect a stern test at Rush Green Road on Friday evening, where adults can go along and watch for £3 adults, under-16s pay just £1 and entry is free for season-ticket season holders.

"Rob Hall scored a great free-kick and showed again why he is in and around the first team"
Ian Hendon

Terry Burton's side face a West Ham side that have faltered since their 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United two weeks ago. A 2-0 defeat by Bolton Wanderers was followed by a creditable 1-1 draw last time out at West Bromwich Albion, who fielded a number of first-team regulars.

New signing Raphael Spiegel, Dan Potts, George Moncur, Jordan Spence and Rob Hall, who scored a fine free-kick against the Baggies last week and made his Barclays Premier League debut against Fulham recently, are all in tonight's starting lineup.

"Rob scored a great free-kick and showed again why he is in and around the first team," said West Ham's Under-21 manager Ian Hendon. "He is a very good player."

West Brom are also in action today, at 2pm, as they take on a Norwich City side who held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw last week and who lie two points and a place above them in fourth place in Group 1. The two sides meet at Norwich's Colney Training Centre.

On Monday second-placed Reading will be hoping to close the three-point gap on Arsenal when they take on sixth-placed Bolton Wanderers at Lancashire FA.

Watch Everton's rising stars

Also in Group 1 and at the same 7pm kick-off time, Everton are targeting a first victory of the campaign that will enable them to leapfrog hosts Blackburn Rovers. Tickets for the Leigh Village encounter cost £4 adults, £2 under-16s and senior citizens and are free for season-ticket season holders.

Meanwhile, Group 2 leaders Southampton will be striving to protect their unbeaten home record against Tottenham Hotspur. Last week Martin Hunter's charges, for whom midfielder Jack Cork made a returning appearance from injury, managed a 1-0 victory at Newcastle thanks to Sam McQueen's strike.

Sunderland, meanwhile, are in search of their first win of the campaign against Aston Villa at the Academy of Light. Although they remain winless Kevin Ball's side have scored twice in each of their matches to date.

With Liverpool not in action on Monday, Wolverhampton Wanderers will assume the lead of Group 3 if they beat Middlesbrough.

Manchester City can also bridge the three-point gap on the Reds, and with the likes of Scott Sinclair a regular in their number, they will fancy their chances of overcoming faltering Fulham at Motspur Park, where entry to the game is free to season ticket-holders. Non-season ticket-holder prices are £3 for adults and £1 for juniors. 

Across town at Selhurst Park a large crowd can be expected for the visit of Chelsea, who fielded Marko Marin in their most recent match against Liverpool.

Over 1,500 people flocked to the ground for Crystal Palace's defeat by Liverpool in August and a similar number is anticipated on Monday night. Tickets for this capital city derby cost £5 for adults (£8 on match day) and £1 for concessions.

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Friday, September 21st

GROUP 1
West Ham United v Arsenal, Rush Green Road (7pm)
Norwich City v West Bromwich Albion, Colney Training Centre (2pm)

Monday, September 24th

GROUP 1
Blackburn Rovers v Everton, Leigh Sports Village (7pm)
Bolton Wanderers v Reading, Lancashire FA (7pm)

GROUP 2
Sunderland v Aston Villa, Academy of Light (2pm)
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur, Staplewood TG (7pm)

GROUP 3
Fulham v Manchester City, Motspur Park (2pm)
Middlesbrough v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rockliffe Park (4pm)
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Selhurst Park (7pm) Ticket info

For all the results and the latest league tables, click here

For latest news on the Barclays U21 Premier League, click here.

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • Unbeaten Arsenal travel to West ham United on Friday nightark against local rivals Bolton
  • Southampton protect their unbeaten home record against Tottenham Hotspur
  • Selhurst Park opens its doors to Crystal Palace-Chelsea on Monday