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Florent Malouda will play his first reserve game for Chelsea tonight (Monday) against Arsenal and another young goalkeeper is handed his reserve debut. The match can be seen live on Chelsea TV.

Malouda has not been included in recent France squads by national manager Raymond Domenech so unlike many of his first team colleagues is remaining at Chelsea for the next 10 days.

A substitute for the last quarter-of-an-hour at White Hart Lane on Saturday, the winger was started by Guus Hiddink in games against Portsmouth and Coventry but had not been used since until this weekend.

Jan Sebek, an 18-year-old who is the same height and from the same nation as Petr Cech, is the new keeper at this level, following on from Aldi Haxhia's debut at Aston Villa at the beginning of the month.

The Czech stopper has played 10 times for the youth side this season.

Those two players apart, tonight's side will look familiar to watchers of recent reserve matches although Patrick van Aanholt moves from left-back to central defence in place Michael Mancienne who has been called up England Under 21s. Ben Gordon comes in at left-back.

Franco Di Santo and Miroslav Stoch are involved further up the field as the second string look to improve on a run of three defeats.

The most recent was a 4-0 reverse against an unusually big name-containing, experienced Spurs side. The same cannot be said of tonight's Arsenal side although Mikael Silvestre does start.

Mark Randall and Fran Merida are familiar names from the Gunners' Carling Cup side.

Chelsea lie one point and two places behind Arsenal in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South table. The season began with an impressive away win over them, Didier Drogba on his return from injury assisting in a 3-2 win - Sergio Tejera and Scott Sinclair (both currently on loan) and the now injured Michael Woods the Chelsea scorers.

The Chelsea team tonight is:

Jan Sebek, Nana Ofori-Twumasi, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt, Ben Gordon, Mineiro, Frank Nouble, Liam Bridcutt ©, Franco Di Santo, Florent Malouda, Miroslav Stoch.

Subs: Sam Walker, Jacob Mellis, Tom Taiwo, Ricardo Fernandes, Fabio Borini.


Wojciech Szczesny, Craig Eastmond, Thomas Cruise, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kyle Bartley, Mikael Silvestre, Mark Randall, Fran Merida Perez, Sanchez Watt, Amaury Bischoff, Jay Thomas.

Subs: Luke Ayling, James Shea, James Dunne, Cedric Evina, Roarie Deacon.

The venue is Brentford FC's Griffin Park with a 7pm kick-off.

Monday Night Live on Chelsea TV begins at 6.30pm. As full coverage of the match there will be exclusive reaction from Guus Hiddink and Harry Redknapp on the game at White Hart Lane, and Jason Cundy will be analysing what went wrong.

Source: Chelsea FC

Edited by EskWeston
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Chelsea's second string played out a goalless draw with Arsenal on Monday evening. Despite having the better of much of the play, even with a man down following the dismissal of Miroslav Stoch, Paul Clement's men could not find a way through.

There was plenty of first team interest on either side. For Chelsea Florent Malouda, a sub at Tottenham on Saturday, impressed alongside the experienced Mineiro, while for Arsenal Mikael Silvestre was making his return from injury.

In addition, there were the talents of Stoch and Franco Di Santo to provide a goalscoring threat for the home side, while goalkeeper Jan Sebek was making a first reserve team appearance.

Chelsea, with Malouda in a central position supporting Di Santo, started brightly as right-back Nana Ofori-Twumasi tested Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a long-range shot.

Arsenal's youngsters responded as Sanchez Watt went through but shot over, while Amaury Bischoff couldn't beat debutant goalkeeper, 18-year-old Sebek when the ball broke loose in the Blues area.

Back at the other end Malouda had his first opportunity when he evaded two challenges before attempting to chip Szczesny, who pulled off a fine save after rushing off his line.

The chances continued at either end. Sebek was busy again before the half-hour mark as he denied Fran Merida, who had broken through from the Arsenal midfield, and then Jay Thomas blasted well wide from a good position.

Three minutes before the break Thomas flicked a header just past Sebek's right-hand post, and then the Czech goalkeeper held from Emmanuel Frimpong, ensuring the first half ended goalless.

Paul Clement's men began the second half strongly as first Mineiro and then Patrick van Aanholt, running from his central defensive position, forced good saves from Szczesny. His was the first of a number of efforts from defensive midfielder Mineiro, given the licence to attack as Liam Bridcutt sat deeper.

That pair were beginning to get the better of their opposite numbers, but despite this advantage the Blues struggled to create further opportunities as Arsenal's defence, marshalled well by Silvestre, appeared comfortable.

Watt headed wide from close range with just over a quarter-hour remaining as the game threatened to end without too much further drama. On 75 minutes Craig Eastmond joined team-mate Watt in the book when he clattered Stoch from behind.

Then the referee surprised everybody at Griffin Park by following this with a red card for Chelsea's Slovakian winger, adjudged to have retaliated with a flick of the studs.

Despite the one-man deficit, it was still Chelsea who looked more like scoring. Malouda continued to prod and probe, while Di Santo shot wildly high from the edge of the area.

In the final moments the Argentine couldn't quite bring Malouda's through ball under control, and Polish keeper Szczesny was able to gather with his clean sheet intact.

The draw ensures Chelsea stay one point below Arsenal in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South, with three games remaining.

Chelsea: Jan Sebek; Nana Ofori-Twumasi, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt, Ben Gordon; Frank Nouble, Liam Bridcutt ©, Mineiro, Miroslav Stoch, Florent Malouda, Franco Di Santo.

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Craig Eastmond, Thomas Cruise, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kyle Bartley, Mikael Silvestre, Mark Randall, Fran Merida (sub James Dunne 70), Sanchez Watt, Amaury Bischoff, Jay Thomas.

Source: Chelsea FC

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It was a decent enough game with most of it played in the middle of the park. Chances were minimal for both sides.

I have to say Jan Sebek was impresive on his reserves Debut, first time i have seen him play, he is a monster of a young man but he was very very composed. Did everything comfortably and well even though he didn't have lots to do. His kicking wasn't the best, but i would like to see him played more and let hm develop, certainly better than Haxhia was recently and in this game looked more composed than Rhys Taylor.

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