Radhi Jaïdi is expecting a game of high standard when Southampton Under-23s face Arsenal this evening.
Saints host the Gunners in a 7pm kick-off at Staplewood Campus, having held them to a 0-0 draw when the sides last met in October.
“We are back to the Premier League 2 and it’s a game against a team that have some good quality players,” explained Jaïdi.
“Hopefully they will be young and we will challenge them; it’ll be a game with a lot of quality and football understanding.
“We played with some of the older boys against them last time and got a positive result, but I remember we played against some very strong players.”
Harrison Reed, Jake Hesketh, Josh Sims and Florin Gardos all played a part in the previous clash at Meadow Park.
But with all four having now moved on with the first team, Jaïdi believes there is a great opportunity for his younger players to seize.
“That’s a positive thing,” he continued.
“That’s what we do and what we are trying to achieve as an Academy. We are pleased that we have some of the Under-23s regularly training with the first team.
“But that will give space for the younger boys to get the same opportunity. The ones that keep performing and showing quality will stay with us and then push again.”