Soccer: Emirates Cup

Arsenal v New York Red Bulls – Sunday 31st July – Emirates Stadium, London (17:20)

Theo Walcott - Arsenal

The annual Emirates Cup comes to the fold this weekend. This is the last major pre-season tournament for the Gunners, as they then turn their attention to the Champions League qualifiers. This is the third edition of this cup as Arsenal invites top opponents to provide them and their fans with intriguing football as well as match fitness and sharpness.

Arsenal has had a successful pre-season thus far, winning all but 1 game throughout their tours. They toured Asia and have just returned from Germany as they overcame Koln FC by 2-1. Arsene Wenger stated that pre-season had been a success as the players are starting to shake the cob webs off and are looking sharper and ready to do battle in the upcoming campaign. The highlight of the weekend was the impressive performance by new recruit Gervinho. The Ivorian bagged a brace and looks like a real Gem for the Gunners. Wenger was impressed with the striker’s movement and ability to get behind the opponents defence. Gervinho indicated that he wants to help the team end their 5 year trophy drought and looks to be an instant hit amongst the fans. He is destined to make his first start at the Emirates this weekend and Wenger will be hoping he can form a dangerous combination with Dutchmen Robin Van Persie. It will also be interesting to see whether club captain Cesc Fabregas figures as the saga of his transfer to Barcelona continues.

New York Red Bulls are in full flight in terms of their season. They currently lie 3rd on the log and are having a solid campaign thus far. Arsenal fans will be waiting in anticipation for Gunners legend Thierry Henry to feature. The Frenchman spent nine successful years with the Gunners and played a huge part in the Invincible’s period. Theo Walcott recently stated he is really looking forward to the legend returning to the Emirates as Henry was his mentor during his Arsenal career and is really looking amped to do battle against his boyhood hero. Thierry Henry still holds the record for most goals scored for Arsenal and he hasn’t stopped in the goal scoring department as the Frenchmen tops the MLS goals chart with 11 goals thus far. This might be a friendly affair but fans will be expecting to see entertaining football, with plenty of goals. Manager Hans Backe will be expecting his team to give a good account of themselves.

Although this is a pre-season tournament both teams know a win in this cup will go a long way in boosting morale. Arsenal should have enough to come out victorious in this encounter.

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