Play-off place up for grabs
ALBION’s Under-21 side travel to Arsenal on Monday night for what will be a pivotal final league game for both teams (ko 7pm).
The Baggies can still qualify for the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two play-offs, but only three points against the Gunners at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park and a defeat for Blackburn Rovers at home to Villa will be enough to see the youngsters finish inside the top five.
Arsenal, on the other hand, will become champions of the division and earn automatic promotion to the top tier if they claim victory over Albion.
“It’s obviously a massive game for both teams,” said Under-21 boss James Shan.
“We must beat a very good Arsenal side away from home, which would be difficult in normal circumstances let alone this scenario where they need a victory to win the league, and then also hope Blackburn lose at home to Villa.
“We have prepared well this week in training and the players are looking forward to the challenge.
“It would be a fantastic achievement to qualify for the play-offs now given the position we are in.
“However, we have said all along that our aim this season was to finish inside the top five and we would be really disappointed if we weren’t able to do that.
“Arsenal look set to play Jack Wilshere as they look for the victory they need, so that will be a great test for our players.
“We need to put in a good performance and grab a victory, but we also have to rely on a bit of luck.”