Colorado Rapids vs Arsenal Preview: Gunners begin pre-season in the United States
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal is put through his paces ahead of their first pre season game against Colorado Rapids

Arsenal's pre-season preparations begin with a test against MLS outfit Colorado Rapids on Tuesday morning as the Gunners look to put behind them a disappointing end to the 2018/19 campaign.

Unai Emery's men boast a squad full of youth and experience who will be hoping to make their mark ahead of much tougher tests over the next month.

Tough summer for Arsenal

Arsenal begins their pre-season at the DSG Park in Colorado aiming to show signs of improvement from an underwhelming end to last season

With only Gabriel Martinelli to show in terms of new recruits, much of the focus will be on Arsenal’s young Guns as they look to make their case for first-team minutes this season.

Discontent at the club’s ownership is rumbling once again with influential fan groups signing an open letter to Stan Kroenke, and with club captain Laurent Koscielny on strike, demanding to leave, the off the pitch situation at Arsenal appears gloomier than ever.

Emery, therefore, will be hoping a good performance and result can help lift the mood around the Emirates.

Meanwhile for Colorado, they will be hoping to upset the Gunners and continue their recent good form which includes five wins and three draws from their last nine. 

After a shocking start to their MLS campaign, winning none of their first 11 games, the Rapids will be hoping their match sharpness will give them the edge over a troubled Arsenal side.

Team news

Colorado Rapids manager Conor Casey is likely to rotate heavily throughout the match as he looks to keep his squad fit, which contains a few faces familiar to English football including goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Predicted line up: Howard; Rosenberry, Abubakar, Smith, Vines; Mezquida, Wilson; Shinyashiki, Rubio, Lewis; Kamara.

Arsenal head coach Emery looks likely to mix experience and youth and will be keen to see how those returning from loan do, particularly Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe.

Stars like Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also likely to get minutes under their belt, whilst there could be debut for Martinelli.

The Gunners have taken a squad of 29 players with them to America with Calum Chambers back from a loan spell as well and likely to feature after Koscielny's refusal to go on tour.

A number of youngsters have travelled including Bukayo Sako, Dominic Thompson, Zech Medley, Robbie Burton and James Olayinka

Tyreece John-Jules is also in the squad but there is no place for the talented Xavier Amaechi.

Predicted line up: Leno, Jenkinson, Chambers, Sokratis, Monreal, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah.

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