PL2 preview: Finishing the season strongly

Our development squad host Arsenal in a Premier League 2 derby at Stamford Bridge this evening, with a limited number of tickets still available to purchase priced at just £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Joe Edwards’s youngsters are expecting a decent crowd as they look to finish the season strongly on home turf and supporters can expect an intriguing contest after the two sides played out a 5-4 thriller earlier in the season.

One of the teenagers hoping to feature is Tariq Uwakwe, who has returned to the side in recent weeks after a start to the campaign that was disrupted with injury.

‘It’s been a good few weeks for me personally, getting a lot of 90 minutes after a couple of months out injured, and the team have been doing really well too,’ he tells the official Chelsea website as we look ahead to the game.

‘It’s my first season playing in Premier League 2 and it’s been exciting. I just want to push and finish the season strongly but I think it’s been a good year overall.’

The Blues were beaten on their travels last time out when a 2-0 lead over Liverpool was overturned.

‘The intensity of these games is really high,’ continues Uwakwe. ‘We started well but then faded a bit in the second half and lost our momentum. It was frustrating but I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.’

Arsenal will present a similarly tough challenge. The Gunners are two places above Edwards’s side in the table, though that lead could be evaporated with a positive result this evening.

‘We know they’re going to come out all guns blazing because it’s Chelsea versus Arsenal,’ states the midfielder.’ They will try to press us high and that’s something we’ve been talking about a lot in our preparation.

‘Before the Liverpool game we were on level points but now they’re three points ahead of us. We want to get the win that gets us closer to them and do all we can to finish third in the league.’

The London derby is the final home game of the season for our youngsters, who are preparing to fly to Switzerland next week for the UEFA Youth League finals weekend, and Uwakwe believes a Stamford Bridge send-off could set them up perfectly.

‘It’s amazing how many people want to come out and watch us. To play at Stamford Bridge for the last time this season is a big occasion for us and we just want to do the best we can. We know it’s going to be a tough game but we’re ready for it.’

-Tickets can still be purchased online here

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