Happy World Cup break Arsenal supporters! It is indeed a second preseason/offseason, and you know what that means- club friendlies! The Gunners are about to embark on a mid-season trip to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp and a clash against French Ligue 1 side Lyon, in the first of three friendlies.
Welcome to the first in our series of Dubai Super Cup preview articles.
Dubai Super Cup: Arsenal vs Lyon FYIs
Kickoff: 3.30pm GMT Thursday December 8, Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here
Series History: Arsenal win 1 Draw 1 Lyon win 0
Obviously, Arsenal will be without their star players who are currently on international duty in Qatar, a nation that borders the United Arab Emirates, the country where this match will be staged.
The Gunners will also be sans the players whose countries have been eliminated from the World Cup. That includes Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan and Thomas Partey and Ghana. This match will come too soon for both, as they will go on a holiday for a brief period, having completed international duty.
Finally, if you haven’t heard about Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian center forward suffered a knee injury that will require surgery, more on that here. He will be out for the long term, it seems.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”