The 10th rendition of the Emirates Cup returns this year after absence in 2018. The new tournament, which also features Arsenal women for the inaugural time, starts on Sunday.
Arsenal returned from their American tour on Wednesday after three wins and a defeat. Two 3-0 victories against Colorado Rapids and Fiorentina respectively and also a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich as well a 3-2 penalty defeat by Real Madrid in their final game meant the Gunners could be relatively pleased by their tour of the states.
Since then a lot has happened in N5. Arsenal confirmed the signings of William Saliba and Dani Ceballos, the former will join next summer and the latter on loan for the for the forthcoming season. Sead Kolasinac prevented armed robbers from hurting Mesut Ozil and his wife and circulating rumours over Nicolas Pepe topped off by Ryan Shawcross breaking his leg. A beautiful Saturday *Insert Aaron Ramsey Meme*
It will be the first time since 2016 that Lyon have played here when Alex Lacazette was on the end of a 6-0 thumping from the Gunners but this time will be different. Lacazette will be lining up against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2017. Lyon have lost big stars in Tanguy Ndombele and Ferland Mendy and have replaced them with Lille duo Thiago Mendes and Youssouf Kone, whilst also signing previous Arsenal target Joachim Andersen. Their summer clear out also involved the departure of Bruno Genesio and appointment of former Gunner Sylvinho.
Arsenal are in for a busy rest of the window before the season starts in two weeks’ time with pressing issues at centre-back, left-back and wide areas, the Gunners should also have near fully fit squad to contend with for their game on Sunday as they return to the Emirates for the first time since drawing with Brighton 1-1 back in May, a draw which effectively ended their top four challenge.
Arsenal face Angers in France on Wednesday before a trip to play Barcelona next weekend in the Joan Gamper Trophy whilst Lyon face Liverpool in Switzerland on Wednesday.
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Line up prediction (4-2-3-1): Martinez, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Ceballos; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Whatever the line up and however many changes we see during the match we will get to see Ceballos in an Arsenal shirt and perhaps the first indication of whether Emery will be using him at 8 or 10.
Score prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Lyon. Arsenal are on a high and as will the fans be after recent events. Hopefully the Emirates will be bouncing as Arsenal roll on to victory.