Quick Review of Arsenal’s Preseason Opponents
As we all know, the preseason has started and preparations are ongoing for Arsenal to play against a couple of teams which would involve traveling to the end of the world and back. Arseblog wrote a very hilarious piece yesterday on the preseason and he focused on Alexis Sanchez trying to come back without even getting any form of rest.
Next week, the Gunners will be traveling to the Far East to take a selection of Singapore’s finest in the Singapore National Stadium. The team will be comprised of some Singapore nationals as well as some foreign stars from the Singapore League. The Gunners would be odds on to play against an Arsenal fan in Nicolas Velez, an Argentine forward for Warriors FC. In an interview with Straits Times, Velez revealed his delight in playing against the club he supports,
“It’s going to be a bit strange playing against Arsenal because I really like Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez.
But I will have to focus, try to help the team and repay coach Sundram [V. Sundramoorthy] for calling me up.”
After the Singapore game, Arsenal will face familiar foes in the forms of either Everton or Stoke City in the Asia Cup final.
Arsenal’s record against both sides in the Premier League last season reads two wins, one draw, one defeat. Both teams suffered defeats when they visited the Emirates but the Gunners failed to grab maximum points from their grounds when they clashed in the league. Olivier Giroud’s late goal salvaged a point for the Gunners at Goodison Park and Aaron Ramsey’s strike at the Britannia Stadium only proved to be a consolation as the Potters ran out as 3-2 winners on the night.
The game would have a Premier League feel to it and I’m sure both sets of fans would get a glimpse of what’s to come in the forthcoming season.
After the Asia Cup, the Gunners return to the home of football to host the Emirates Cup, that was won by Monaco last season. The Gunners’ first match in the tournament would be against Lyon and one wonders what side Alexandre Lacazette would be playing for.
The French forward has been linked with a move to the Emirates and we can only keep our fingers crossed to see if a move materializes. If he’s still at Lyon at the Emirates Cup, his game against the Gunners could be some sort of ‘audition’. Hey ho.
After Lyon, the Gunners would play against VFL Wolfsburg that are facing a huge battle on their hands to keep Kevin de Bruyne that was one of the star performers for the club in the Bundesliga and Europa League last season. According to Manchester Evening News, de Bruyne is under the radar of PSG and Manchester City but Wolfsburg is trying to keep the lad at the club by offering him a bumper contract.
Arsenal fans would be keen to see the Lord, Nicklas Bendtner, in action and it would be interesting to the kind of reaction he would get in his return to North London. The Lord scored 47 goals in 171 games for the Gunners after seven seasons with the club. I’m pretty sure Sheikh Socrates of Soccergunz would be the most elated person watching Bendtner play. That bloke loves the Lord with all his heart.
Finally, the Gunners will end their preseason adventure with the Community Shield against their fierce London rivals, Chelsea. That game is going to dominate the back pages as former Cheslea stalwart, Petr Cech, would be in goal for Arsenal as he plays against his former employers. His motivation level will be sky-high and he’d want to prove a point that he’s better than his opposite number, Thibaut Courtois.
The game will also continue the rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho and many wonder if Wenger will finally get the better of the Portuguese manager in the 14th time of asking. Wenger’s record against Mourinho is quite shambolic and the players would want to get a positive result for their manager against his foe.
However, they’d have to do it without Alexis, that would probably be playing with his dogs while basking the Chilean sunshine.
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