Club Friendly: Sydney FC v Arsenal Preview


Our football writer previews the pre-season club friendly between Sydney FC 
and Arsenal, which takes place on Thursday.

Arsenal are currently on their Australian pre-season tour in which they will play two games. Their first one is against Australian champions, Sydney FC. Wenger has mentioned that he wants to try out new combinations but he’s working on starting with a back three next season to continue building on the foundation that he laid towards the end of last season.

Sydney FC v 
Arsenal | Thursday 13 July | ANZ Stadium | 11:45

To Win
Sydney FC 15/2 | Draw 39/10 | Arsenal 3/10

Sydney FC
Sydney FC have enjoyed one of their best seasons ever, winning the A-League title for the first time since 2010 by a 17-gap margin. However, they meet a wounded giant in Arsenal that will be determined to make amends for a catastrophic season that they’ve just been through.

The Australian champions can take to the fact that Arsenal doesn’t know too much about them, which even Arsene Wenger highlighted while English football is televised week in and week out all over the world.

The Sky Blues are playing at home so they have that 12th man advantage with their fans giving them the support and courage to overcome the Gunners. The team is very excited about hosting Arsenal and Sydney FC manager, Graham Arnold says it’s an honour and they’re willing to learn from the Gunners.

“It’s wonderful for Sydney FC to welcome Arsenal to Sydney and to give us an opportunity to play against a wonderful football club and a wonderful football team full of star players,” he said. 
“We’re just early in our preseason but it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for our boys to test themselves against the best,” he added.

Arsene Wenger has endured his worst ever season in his 21 years as the Arsenal Manager, failing to qualify for the Champions League after his team finished 5th on the log. 

The French tactician will use pre-season to test the strengths and weaknesses of his team before the new season gets underway. Arsenal did find their feet towards the end of last season after reverting to the three-man defence tactic. Winning the FA Cup at the very end of last season against Chelsea is a testimony to the team finding a winning combination.

Wenger says he will be sticking with the new set up. “We’ll test many systems. At the moment, in pre-season, we are in the continuity of the end of last season. In some games, we will play with four at the back and some with three, but at the start of the season we will certainly play with three,” he told

Acquiring the services of Alexandre Lacazette will bolster their attacking prowess and their record signing will certainly be looking to impress his countryman. “Lacazette will make his debut here, yes. On Thursday night, he will certainly play a part in the game and in the other games as well. In the two games, he will take part”. 

Verdict: Arsenal (-1) Handicap 8/10
Arsenal just had a disastrous season and they’re taking every match seriously. The Gunners are tipped to comfortably clear the (-1) Handicap.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for

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