Arsenal should record victory in front of their own fans
Arsenal enter the Emirates Cup in high spirits after confident victories in the Barclays Asia Trophy and, with the Community Shield just one week away, will be hopeful of defeating Lyon on home soil.
Pre-season has been a great success for Arsene Wenger thus far, having beaten Singapore Select XI 4-0 and Everton 3-1 in their trophy-winning trip to Singapore. Petr Cech has made an assured start to his Arsenal career, but Lyon – with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir – represent their first real challenge of the summer.
Lyon made a slow start to pre-season, losing 1-0 to Swiss side FC Sion and 2-0 against Dutch outfit PSV. However, their 2-1 victory over Milan last Saturday – in which Fekir dazzled – should worry Arsenal.
After their superb run of victories in the final months of the 2014/15 season, there is great interest in seeing whether Arsenal can carry their form into the new season and sustain a title challenge for the first time in a decade. These final friendlies, against big European clubs, could prove very insightful.
Wenger will want his team to be in great shape before the curtain raiser against Chelsea at Wembley, and therefore we can expect a strong showing, and full strength team, throughout the tournament.
The Emirates Cup is a round robin tournament that uses an unusual points system to encourage exciting, attacking football. As well as earning three points for a victory and one for a draw, teams are awarded an additional point for every goal scored. Considering the fire-power available to both teams, back over 3.5 goals at 8/5.
Arsenal are still without Alexis Sanchez (on leave), whilst Danny Welbeck (groin) and Tomas Rosicky (knee) occupy the Arsenal treatment table. In great form and in front of their own fans, it is worth backing Arsenal to win at 1/2.
Arsenal v Lyon kicks off at 16.20, Saturday 24th July, at the Emirates. Live coverage on BT Sport 1.