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Arsenal v Juventus


The Grove

2nd August


On Sky

The hosts and defending Emirates Cup champions, Arsenal, begin the 2008 edition of the tournament against Italian giants Juventus in the second match of the day. After a hugely impressive 3-1 win in Germany against VfB Stuttgart, Arsene will be hoping his youthful team will continue to improve their game. We should see a more inexperienced side face Juventus tomorrow with the first-team starters getting to play in the Madrid game tomorrow. This is how Arsene organized his team during last season`s tournament.

Vital Quotes:

Arsenal new boy Samir Nasri has spoken out before his imminent home debut at the Emirates this weekend. "I am very excited to play at Emirates and give my all to Arsenal," said Nasri. "I have seen in the past weeks the passion this club generates. It is a family. I am very excited and I hope it will be a great season. I am very happy to be an Arsenal player."

"I have got to know my team-mates and I have been very happily surprised about the stage of preparations we have reached. I like very much the way Arsenal play and the team spirit. They are all young players who appreciate each other and that can be felt on the pitch."

"As for this weekend, we have every chance to win this tournament. In terms of preparation it is important to be playing top clubs like this straight away at the beginning of the season."

Claudio Ranieri has praised Arsenal in the build up to this tournament. "Arsenal can teach us plenty on how to get the best young players from around the world" he said.

"It`s a politic which has paid off up until now and I compliment them.

"The Gunners have more experience than us in the Champions League as we haven`t been involved in that competition for two years.

Arsenal Team News:

Emmanuel Adebayor has confirmed that he will be staying at Arsenal next season as he will be extending his current contract one or two more years. How much of that he actually fulfills remains to be seen. Hopefully he will get smart and realize that he will not get the scoring opportunities he does now anywhere else.

News also came out yesterday that Arsene has confirmed that William Gallas will be the captain for the Gunners next season. Now, personally, I never thought there would be a change in captain, but the former Chelsea defender came under a lot scrutiny last season and some thought a change was in order.

Arsenal has seemed to have an injury free pre-season so far as nobody but the long terms absentees, Eduardo and Rosicky, are out. Though has anybody heard why we have not seen Abou Diaby so far? I heard Clichy say he was fit, but he hasn`t played a part in any of the warm-up matches.

Player to watch: Nicklas Bendtner

The Danish international has been extremely impressive so far this offseason, grabbing 5 goals in the last two games. He started off slowly with two pretty unimpressive showings against Barnet and Szombathelyi Haladas but has really come on as of late, forming a marvelous partnership with the young Mexican forward Carlos Vela. I fully expect him to grab another goal or two in this match.

Juventus Team News:

Finishing third in their first season back up in Serie A, after the infamous match fixing scandal, had to been a good achievement for the Turin club, but they will be looking to improve on that this season. They have brought in two players with sizeable experience this offseason in Olof Mellberg from Aston Villa and Amauri from Palamero. These players will certainly help them throughout the next campaign.

Player to watch: Sebastian Giovinco

If Ranieri decides to play his more youthful team in the first game then the 2008 U-21 Toulon Tournament`s MVP, Sebastian Giovinco, should get the nod in the starting line-up. Giovinco, who was recently linked to Arsenal, is an extremely short creative midfielder who will look to unlock the Arsenal defence.

Ref Watch:

Peter Walton - England Walton officiated 3 Arsenal matches last year, Wigan(H), Fulham(A), and Reading(H). In those games he gave 7 yellows to our opposition versus 2 to us, and no reds for either team. Overall last year, he managed 41 Barclays Premier League games, dishing out 123 cautions and 5 ejections.

Match Prediction:

I see the young Arsenal players continuing their rich vein of form against the Old Lady of Turin. If Juve does indeed field a similarly young side like Arsenal then I predict a 3-1 win for us Gooners.

Date:Saturday August 2 2008
Time: 10:01AM

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I think it will end in a score draw, just a gut feeling. Questions do arise regarding Diaby's lack of involvement in the preseason games so far along with the absence of Senderos. Seems that Denilson is the prime candidate to line up alongside Cesc in the midfield, against Stuttgart I noticed he was slightly deeper and moved the ball from defence to attack more often than usual. I hope Adebayor gets no stick for the team's sake, as I believe that any booing would have a negative influence on the whole group. He is one of the boys in red and as long as he gives his all on the pitch he should be supported. Nick Bendtner's performances merit a first team place ahead of Adebayor, but I doubt it.
02/08/2008 11:42:00
Agreed G4L. Ade has acted with extreme c***ishness, but it's done. He's staying and if want to win anything then we need to get behind this team!!
02/08/2008 12:00:00
R7, to be honest that is my biggest concern about this season. Unless we're off to a flyer like last season, I believe the disgruntled haters, formerly known as the "shoot!!" brigade will be on the team's (and AW's) back in a matter of seconds. I can remember a few games last year, when score was 0-0 at half time there was a lot of negativity in the stadium. It was as if we were losing 0-3.
02/08/2008 12:06:00
Wow that is one young Arsenal line up!!! I guess the big boys will be tomorrow then!!
02/08/2008 15:59:00
I thought it was a good game for Arsenal with several positives to take out. I'm not really bothered about the result. The defence did well overall, coz the goal was clearly offside. Apart from that, we really shouldnt be judging till Toure & Gallas get back together. I'm continually impressed by Wilshere - he didnt do anything spectacular, but he looked calm and assured on the ball, which is very impressive for a 16 year old against Juve. Put in a couple of excellent crosses as well. Nasri had some good runs. This was Diaby's 1st game and he looked good in patches, so hopefully he can kick on from here to cement his place in the 1st team.
02/08/2008 19:32:00
I was also impressed by Gibbs even though he's not a natural LB. The kid looks good on the ball and contributed well to the attacks.
02/08/2008 19:41:00
Just got back from the game. I thought it was very positive match for the young kids despite the result. They looked very good against Juve's very experienced team. I wasnt expecting them to field that kind of team, but our young players like Ramsey, Wilshere, and Denilson held their own very well and if it wasnt for a bad call by the linesman then we would of gotten a better result.
02/08/2008 19:58:00
Wow I just realized that I used the word 'very' way to much. Haha
02/08/2008 20:01:00
A number of good points can come from that game, even though we lost which was down to a freekick that wasn't a freekick and a goal that was clearly offside. Hopefully not a sign of things to come!! A very young side again and I think we will see the big guns more tomorrow. Wilshire again was impressive and, not to big him up too much, but this guy even though he is so young deserves to be part of the Premiership campaign this year, not just the Carling Cup.
02/08/2008 20:42:00
Yeah apart from the fact that my first home match was a defeat, it was great all round. I also wondered if it's just us that kept following the kids like Wilshere, Vela, Gibbs..? (NO way!) The Gooners next to me had no idea who they were, to my surprise. And to theirs, they thought the kids were really solid considering they're "unknowns" to them. "Wow where did these good kids come from? Arsene is working his magic again!" etc etc. It was a really young team considering the opponents were Juve, even slightly less experience than the line-up against Stuttgart. Apart from the good signs mentioned above, I thought Diaby put in a good performance in the middle, with much better work rate than he usually did last season too. He loved the CM position and it showed. The defence was also better than I'd feared. Gallas coming on also showed us that he brought calmness and organisation to the back 4. Fabianski also looked assured. Just that the result was a bit unfair.
Lou the Gunneress
02/08/2008 20:55:00
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