Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid preview: Pre-season clash sees a repeat of Europa League semi-final

Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid preview: Pre-season clash sees a repeat of Europa League semi-final

The Gunners face their first real test of pre-season.

mattddawson
Matt Dawson

Arsenal's tour of Singapore gets underway on Thursday lunchtime as the Gunners face Atletico Madrid.

It will be Unai Emery's first real test as Gunners boss as the two side's meet in the International Champions Cup

The competition sees 18 of Europe's top teams compete around the globe. 

Last time they met 

This meeting between the two teams comes so soon after Atletico Madrid ended Arsenal's European dream back in May. 

The Gunners had fallen away domestically and the Europa League was their only remaining hope of getting back into the Champions League at the first time of asking. 

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Griezmann saw the spoils shared after the first leg at the Emirates, but Diego Costa confirmed Atletico's passage into the final with a solitary goal when they met again. 

The game marked Arsene Wenger's final European match in charge of the club, but Arsenal now have a new head coach at the helm.

Pre-season so far

The Gunners first game under Emery saw them romp to an 8-0 win over Boreham Wood

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang started his pre-season in fine form, scoring a hat-trick inside 17 minutes. Other scorers included Reiss Nelson, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Eddie Nketiah, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lacazette. 

The North London side followed that game up with two behind closed doors friendlies. The details of which remain unclear, but it is understood that Arsenal beat Crawley in resounding fashion, before losing to Brentford in matches designed to build fitness over performance. 

Arsenal will face PSG on Saturday after their game with Atletico Madrid.

They then take on Chelsea and Lazio before the domestic season gets underway. 

This game marks Atletico's first pre-season encounter, and they are also set to play PSG. Their preparations then continue with games against Stuttgart and Cagliari before facing Inter Milan

World Cup disrupts squad preparation

Arsenal have welcomed Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi back into their squad after appearing for Egpyt and Nigeria respectively at the World Cup. 

More importantly, Mesut Ozil has returned. It's been a controversial week for the German who has announced his decision to stop playing for his country, after what he claims has been racist treatment from the DFB. 

Arsenal and Emery have been quick to support him, however, as he looks to get back to full fitness after a disappointing summer. 

Arsenal have three of their new signings available with Sokratis, Bernd Leno and Matteo Guendouzi all in the party that have traveled to Singapore

Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner are on extended breaks, whilst the same can be said for David Ospina, Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck

Atletico's squad doesn't contain a whole host of usual suspects. Those who reached the World Cup final, Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez and Sime Vrsaljko are not with the squad, likewise with recent acquisition Thomas Lemar.

Diego Costa, Saul, Koke, Filipe Luis and Diego Godin are also still on breaks. 

Their squad list does contain Jan Oblak and Juanfran, whilst there is still quality in attack with Angel Correa and Kevin Gameiro included. 

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