Arsenal bring their pre-season back to home ground, as The Emirates Cup rolls into town.
The Gunners take on Lyon, and it will be a veritable football fest as Arsenal Women also play for the first time at The Emirates.
With Arsenal recently having signed two players, the chance to see at least one of them will draw the crowds, as well as seeing our star-studded strikeforce in action.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were the bright spots of last season and this season we will again pin our hopes on the duo as their bromance fuels cohesion on the pitch.
This match against Lyon is one of our final steps before kickoff for the next campaign, so the result will have many eyes on it, but Lyon have perhaps one of the most impressive academies pushing them forward, and a string of impressive youth just waiting to show what they can do.
Unai Emery will be keen to continue stepping up our preparations so a performance full of vigour and ultimately a win, will be what is required.
So who will line up?
It should be a strong lineup, more akin to what next season will look like, so most likely Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Sokratis should come into the side.
Laurent Koscielny is obviously available, but after refusing to travel to the US, will most likely not be seen for this game.
Dani Ceballos could make his debut in this game, and his rapid movement could work well in our centre, or perhaps further forward.
Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin have stepped up their fitness but will not be involved, especially Bellerin who will most likely miss the first month of the season.
In midfield, Matteo Guendouzi should once again be involved after missing the US tour, but Lucas Torreira will be rested.
One to Watch
This midfielder is yet another off the Lyon production line. Smart with his touch and an eye for a pass, his attacking prowess will be on show and provide openings for the likes of Bertrand Traore and Memphis Depay. This kid will be a full French international before long, and can damage us with the ball to feet. Ceballos and his midfield partner will need to keep their wits about them to stifle this player.
How This Game Could Go
Lyon are proudly known for their intricate play and their talents that they produce endlessly are all capable with the ball of inflicting pain and ripping open defences not with brutality, but with artistic precision.
They play football the right way, and our defence will get their toughest run out that they’ve had. Lyon will also want to step up their pre-season regime, so we will not be facing a rusty team.
Memphis Depay is one player who could do it by himself and has been reinvigorated since his move to Lyon. Set pieces will be one he can maximise, but anywhere around the box is one he could exploit.
Will our youngsters play? They are currently the only players who give us true width, with Saka and Nelson hugging the touchline and stretching play. The role of supersub could be one they both pick up this coming season, and one that enables us to keep up our attack through the second half as we fade.
Fitness levels won’t be where they need to be just yet, and we still have certain missing players, but with Saka and Nelson coming on late, harassing tired legs, it means we have a threat, a different one, maintained.
Lyon will give us the severe test that we need. Let’s enjoy the great atmosphere that normally comes with The Emirates Cup and give our boys a decent reception
Predicted Lineup – Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Ceballos, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette,
Predicted Scoreline – 3-2 to The Gunners