Reiss Nelson and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored as Arsenal finished off their set of preseason fixtures with a convincing 2-0 win over the Seria A side right in Stockholm.
It does seem like a new era and with the high productivity seen in the team in the pre-season, Arsenal fans all around the globe are quite unusually optimistic for the start of the new season and rightfully so. Exciting times do await for men in the red and white ahead of next week’s Premier League opener vs champions Manchester City.
Unai Emery’s most recent experimentation came with setting the Arsenal team up in a fluid 4-4-2 formation with Lacazette and Eddie Niketiah starting up top and the likes of Ress Nelson and Alex Iwobi putting in a tireless shift right behind them.
Apart from a slightly worrying fitness update on Aaron Ramsey and the injury setback by Saed Kolasinac, Arsenal seem like a rejuvenated side this summer with a sea of changes all around and now all eyes will be on the opener as Arsenal prepare to take on the defending champions in the first game of the new season under Unai Emery
Arsenal XI: Leno, Lichtsteiner (Bellerin, 62), Chambers (Mavropanos, 77), Holding (Papastathopoulos, 77), Maitland-Niles, Nelson (Guendouzi, 46), Xhaka (Elneny, 62), Torreira (Ozil, 62), Iwobi (Mkhitaryan, 62), Lacazette (Smith Rowe, 77), Nketiah (Aubameyang, 46)
Lazio XI: Proto, Wallace, Acerbi, Radu, Basta, Parolo, Leiva, Murgia, Lulic, Luis Alberto, Caicedo
Pre-Match Complete Breakdown Arsenal vs Lazio :
Arsenal began life after Arsene Wenger in recently as they embarked on a new era with a new manager, Unai Emery. Fans got a glimpse of what the iconic Frenchman’s successor has to offer when the club got their pre-season under way ahead of the new campaign, latest being the final one against Italian side Lazio.
After 4 matches in Asia and Europe, The Gunners are all set to face Lazio in Stockholm, Sweden tonight at 11:30 pm (IST).
Here’s a look at Arsenal’s previous pre-season fixtures: [Via Goal.com]
|July 14||Boreham Wood VS Arsenal||Hertfordshire||0-8|
|July 26||Atletico Madrid VS Arsenal||Singapore||1-1(3-1 on penalties)|
|July 28||Arsenal VS PSG||Singapore||5-1|
|August 1||Arsenal VS Chelsea||Dublin||1-1(6-5 on penalties)|
A strong squad can be expected from the Gunners with their club’s website stating, “A number of our summer recruits could be involved, with Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner set to join the likes of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.”
One of Emery’s most notable recruits, Torreira, has kept fans waiting to see what he can offer. The 22-year-old quickly caught the eye of club legend Ian Wright, who took to Twitter to express his excitement, Torreira will be tasked with providing the destructive qualities missing from the base of Arsenal’s midfield for too long. The desire to get him up to speed could see the youngster handed a start by Emery.
Arsenal manager, Unai Emery has confirmed that Lucas Torreira will make his Arsenal debut on Saturday vs. Lazio Roma. pic.twitter.com/3VIVpQkbha
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) August 2, 2018
Guendouzi won’t break up play, but the 19-year-old has already proved he can dictate it. The player acquired from FC Lorient was heralded as the “revelation of the tour” of Asia by ESPN FC’s Tom Adams, who also lauded the Frenchman’s “ambitious passing.”
Meanwhile, youngster Emile Smith-Rowe needs to keep making his mark at a position brimming with quality. Emery can also call on Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to create and score goals from the tip of midfield.
However, Aaron Ramsey’s fitness will need to be checked after he was unable to feature in the International Champions Cup meeting with Chelsea. As the Arsenal website tells us, Ramsey has developed tightness in his right calf. Continues to be assessed. Aiming to train next week.
🚨 An update on Aaron Ramsey…
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 1, 2018
Another blow for Arsenal is the injury of Sead Kolasinac. As reported, the left-back has sustained an injury to his left knee and will be out for 8-10 weeks. This means that there is a high chance of Nacho Monreal being featured in the starting XI against Lazio.
Lazio have played 4 pre-season fixtures till now, winning all of them. However Arsenal is the first real test of the Serie A side. The Gunners have looked enthused by the infusion of young talent they’ve experienced this pre-season. The new gaffer has more quality players at his disposal than Lazio boss Inzaghi, so Arsenal should take the win on paper.
According to me the possible starting XI will be:
Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Torreira, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang.
With Smith- and Mkhitaryan being used as substitutes. Do share your thoughts and predictions in the comments.