Western Sydney Wanderers vs Arsenal Preview

The Gunners return to the ANZ Stadium for their second pre-season match down under.

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Arsenal Preview
Photo: Stuart MacFarlane

In their second visit to the ANZ Stadium this week, Arsenal face the Western Sydney Wanderers in their final match of their pre-season trip to Australia. 

Strong debuts 

The Gunners eased past Western Sydney Wanderers' A-League rivals Sydney FC on Thursday thanks to goals from captain Per Mertesacker and record signing Alexandre Lacazette, and manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping for another convincing performance. 

A lot of the pre-match talk was about Arsenal big money buy, and Lacazette didn't disappoint, scoring his goal just fifteen minutes into his debut. It was also a successful debut for defender Sead Kolasinac, who looked calm and composed on the ball whilst also showing his strength whilst defending.  

One stand-out performer from the game was 17-year-old Reiss Nelson, who was another making their debut for the senior team. The Englishman, who has been with the club since 2008 and signed his first professional contract in December, showed both pace and quality on the ball, giving the Gunners supporters a glimpse of the future.  

Youthful opponents 

The youngest club in the League, the Wanderers, led by former Socceroo centre-back Tony Popovic, finished sixth in the league last season, and were eliminated from the finals series in the first round. Despite only forming in 2012, the club have tasted success, finishing top of A-league in their first season and winning the Asian Champions League in their second.

Team News 

After sitting out the first game of the tour, defender Laurent Koscielny could return to the starting XI on Saturday. The same can be said for Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman enjoyed a strong end to the 2016/17 campaign, flourishing after the teams' switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation. David Ospina may also get his chance, after both Petr Cech and Emiliano Martinez featured on Thursday. 

Robbie Cornthwaite will led the Wanderers for the first time after being made captain for the upcoming season. Midfielders Roly Bonevacia and Chris Herd and right-back Josh Risdon are in-line to make the debuts for Western Sydney Wanderers after arriving during the off-season.  


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