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Emirates Cup Preview

AC Milan, Celtic, Lyon

Ashburton Grove



On Sky

After a handful of low key warm-up matches at Barnet and in Austria, the pace picks up for the squad with the fourth edition of the Emirates Cup. While the first three games of this preseason have been fairly pedestrian, Arsenal will need to be sharper in order to lift the the Emirates Cup for a third time in four attempts. Even though the Gunners have yet to be scored on this preseason, the defence has been unconvincing at various times. A strong preformance in this tournament will go a long way in calming some of my fears.

Vital Quotes:

Here is the boss on what this tournament tells him: 'You will see some young players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere, also the new players like Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny,' said Wenger at the press conference on Friday.

'It will be good to see them in a competitive environment. That will be interesting.'

Wenger added: 'I will also learn what condition we are in physically, because we have worked quite hard and with two weeks to go it is important that we can last in the games.'

'The third point is how ready are we with our team play? How sharp is our passing, and quick movement off the ball?'

Arsenal Team News:

With only two weeks to go until the start of the league season at Anfield, Arsene already has some injury worries. Bendtner should have never played at the World Cup, and his hamstring has never fully recovered. He will be out for 2-3 weeks. Song and Diaby have brought back 'slight knocks' from their summer endeavors, and Denilson has yet to feature this preseason. Cesc Fabregas is still on holiday after a tiring shift of bench warming for Spain, while van Persie is on a well deserved holiday.

Player to watch: Jack Wilshere

I know this isn't really a creative pick, but Jack was the star of last year's tournament and I hope he can continue to impress in front of the home crowd. His two goals against Ranger was a special moment for everyone in the stadium.

AC Milan, Celtic, Lyon Team News:

Here is a link to the squads for our guests this weekend.

Player to watch: Pato & Lisandro Lopez

There will be plenty of exciting players on hand, but Alexandre Pato and Lisandro Lopez are the two I will have my eye on. Neither we're called upon by their countries for World Cup duty, so they'll be rested and ready to go for the coming season.

Match Prediction

I expect two wins this weekend for Arsenal. We are a better team than Celtic, as we proved in the Champions League qualifier last August. And Milan are just an older version of the team we beat in 2008. Unfortunately, I believe Lyon would have been a much better and more exciting test than the two teams we are scheduled to play.

Next Fixtures:

7/8 (Sat) - Legia Warsaw (a)

The matches will be on Sky in England/Ireland and GolTv in the United States. I hope everyone enjoys the weekend's festivities!

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Saturday July 31 2010
Time: 3:23AM

Best of International Football News


so it all starts today :) as usual, start of season optimism is dominating my thoughts. i feel this is the season for us, wenger has made two good acquisitions, hope for another CB though. c'mon gunners!!!
31/07/2010 11:51:00
My first chance to see the Arsenal live this season. I can't wait.
31/07/2010 12:07:00
Yeah!!! Can't wait. Shame that we have to start with so many out injured, already. But then, it won't be Arsenal otherwise, would it. Wishing the team a good (much better) season, this time out.
31/07/2010 12:48:00
Let's get this season up and running then!! C'MON YOU REDS!!
31/07/2010 13:28:00
Looking forward to seeing the boys today, can't wait. Not too bothered about the scorelines, but winning the tournament would be nice. Just wanna see the lads build up their fitness levels, and please God....NO MORE INJURIES !!!!!!
Cockney Rich
31/07/2010 13:30:00
Celtic has started brightly. They're not letting the ugliness of the Lyon kit distract them.
31/07/2010 14:40:00
Arshavin looks like he is up for this one :)
31/07/2010 17:20:00
I enjoyed that match. Typical Arsenal goal, typical Arsenal shooting, typical Arsenal defending. Ahhh it's good to be back. lol. Btw, can anyone reliably inform me, why in all that's holy is Mark Randall still earning a living playing for Arsenal? He's yearly contribution appears to be making a few cock ups in pre-season freindlies before vanishing into obsceurity before coming back next year having made no valid strides in his footballing education. Or in simpler terms ... he is sh**e.
31/07/2010 18:10:00
Im guessing its due to our lack of players. Had Denilson, Bendtner, van Persie, Csec, Diaby and Song been there he wouldn't have got a look in, Even Eastmond, Lansbury and Bartley are injured.
31/07/2010 18:32:00
JET was on the bench, why not bring him on? Randall is one of the most distinctly average players I've ever seen. On a more positive note the two new boys looked excellent. Vermaelen and Nasri looked really hungry. Vela was impressive when he came on, and Gibbsy seems to have picked up where he left off. All very promising despite the annoying goal.
31/07/2010 18:39:00
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