Arsenal v Lyon Emirates Cup
Arsenal begin their Emirates Cup campaign against French side Olympique Lyon on their home turf.
The French Ligue1 outfit are significantly improved last season gaining qualification to the Champions League and their young side will pose a significant test for an Arsenal team who have already won the Asia Trophy this pre season.
The potential is for a treble of friendly wins if they can win the Emirates Cup and also defeat Chelsea in the Premiership curtain raiser – the Community Shield.
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a fan of this competition telling Arsenal.com:
Personally I love the Emirates Cup because it’s competitive without having too much pressure on the games.
It is vital for preparation. The international players came back quite late on July 11, so when you think that they have less than four weeks to prepare for the first Premier League game, it’s very short.
Lyon will be playing the French Super Cup next weekend against Paris St Germain and so this will be a good opportunity for players to prove their fitness before the real action begins.
Arsenal will be taking on Wolfsburg on Monday so the hectic schedule will probably mean the entire squad gets to play some part in each game but they have sufficient squad depth that whichever team they choose to play should be plenty strong enough to defeat the French outfit.
Petr Cech could make his first start in Arsenal colours at the Emirates and that astute signing means that scoring against Arsenal just became much more difficult.
The top three Premiership teams have some of the best goalkeeping talent on the planet in Courtois (Chelsea) De Gea (Man United) and Cech now of Arsenal.
The perceived weak link for Arsenal is Giroud who has so far performed poorly in pre season and Wenger is likely to ask him to step up for this game and prove the doubters wrong. The problem for Giroud is that his lack of pace is magnified by his rival for the strikers berth, Theo Walcott is one of the fastest players in the Premier League.
On the opposing side Lacazette will be hoping to display some of the skills that have had him linked with a number of clubs this summer and a good performance in this game could earn the striker a big money move. He was top goalscorer in Ligue 1 last season and Liverpool fans will be looking on with interest now that they have Benteke on their books.