Preview: Arsenal’s pre-season tour of United States
Arsenal have had an ideal start to their pre-season campaign with convincing wins over Ipswich Town and Nuremberg. They are now in the United States where they are expected to play three more friendlies.
Mikel Arteta has chosen to go with a strong 33-man squad for the games, but the likes of Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Pablo Mari and Lucas Torreira are likely to be sold soon.
Hence, Gunners fans may get the final sight of those players in the club’s shirt, but the main focus of the tour remains on improving the conditioning of the squad ahead of the new league season.
Arsenal will be playing three friendlies in the space of just one week, starting from Saturday where they are scheduled to face Premier League rivals Everton at the M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland.
Shortly after the game, they will make a 900-mile trip south to Orlando, Florida to face Orlando City. They will take on the Major League Soccer outfit at their home ground (Exploria Stadium) on Wednesday.
Two days later, Arsenal will renew their London rivalry with Chelsea at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando. We could get to see Arteta’s best XI for the derby. This will be the club’s second-last pre-season friendly.
A number of Arsenal’s regulars including Granit Xhaka, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Bukayo Saka were not involved in the first two friendlies after being part of the international games last month.
They will be handed valuable minutes during the tour. Summer signing Fabio Vieira could also make his non-competitive debut for the club after being sidelined with a minor leg problem.
The Portuguese was wearing a protective boot on his left foot recently, having suffered a small injury while playing for the Portugal Under 21s. Hopefully, he is fit for the upcoming friendlies.
Following the United States tour, Arsenal will host Sevilla for the Emirates Cup on July 30, which will be the final preparation game before the Premier League opener at Crystal Palace on August 5.
The Gunners need to go into the derby at Selhurst Park in the best frame of mind as it could be a difficult curtain-raiser. The club have beaten Palace in just one of the last eight meetings.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com