I’m sure the players must be jet-lagged from all the travelling but it’s going to be a nice Scandanavian adventure for Arsene Wenger and his team before preparations get underway for the start of the new campaign. When I saw pictures of Alexis Sanchez’s ankle after the Copa America, I thought he was going to be out for a long while but seeing pictures of him training with the squad made me really happy. The blonde Welsh Jesus, Aaron Ramsey, is also back after his holidays and I’m sure he can’t wait to hit the ground running. Ramsey had such amazing tournament in the Euros, and we would be hoping he carries that form into the new campaign.
Arsenal will play Viking FK tonight in their famous Viking Stadion. I really don’t know much about them and the only time Arsenal locked horns with Norwegian opposition was against Rosenborg SK, where Cesc Fabregas became the club’s youngest scorer or so. They have some pedigree, winning the Norwegian Tippeligaen eight times with the last coming as far back as 1991.
I would expect the game to be a decent run out for the lads and I’m really looking forward to seeing Alexis and Ramsey in action. Rob Holding is one player that has impressed massively in preseason and he would be hoping to put up another virtuoso performance, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would want to build on what he has a fantastic start to his campaign.
There is going to be a live stream on the official site, so gear yourselves up, if you may miss the game live.
To team news, I don’t think there would be any major changes to the squad but I would expect the usual substitutions from the gaffer. I’m no Wenger, but I’d expect a lineup like this…
Elsewhere, the club has confirmed that one of its favorite sons, Wojciech Szczesny, has returned to AS Roma for a second loan spell. Unlike last season where Szczesny didn’t have much competition for veterans, Bogdan Lobont and Morgan de Sanctis, Roma has signed Alisson from Internacional so it’s going to be very interesting to see how things pan out for Arsenal’s pole. I’ve also learned that a fee of 16m has been included in the loan contract, which gives Roma an option to buy, if Szczesny impresses.
That would be quite unfortunate if he’s eventually sold after two loan spells with the Italian outfit but he’d have himself to blame because he was heralded as the #1 for years to come but a lot of factors not worth mentioning caused things to go downhill for him at North London. With Petr Cech and David Ospina, Arsenal have the adequate quality they need in goal.
I wish Szczesny the very best in his second stint with the Italian giants.
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