The headline news is Lacazette will begin on the pine, which is a bit of a shame.
There’s an early look at Bosnian international Sead Kolašinac who will start on the left of a back three as Wenger persists with the 3-5-2 formation that Antonio Conte so successfully trolled the Premier League with last season.
The pace of Walcott and Welbeck will be unlike anything Sydney’s defence will have encountered in some time.
We meet again. Just 47 days since Arsenal brought the curtain down on a turbulent campaign by lifting the FA Cup, the Gunners are in action again.
Arsene Wenger’s 21st preseason in charge begins against Sydney FC at a sold out ANZ Stadium. It may seem like the first and most insignificant step in a marathon of a season to residents of N7, but to Australian-based Arsenal fans this is their first opportunity in 40 years to see their heroes in action.
Record signing Alexandre Lacazette promises to be the star attraction. The £45m man will make his debut in red and white and his every move will be duly scrutinised with knee-jerk reactions sure to follow.
Otherwise it’s the familiar preseason routine of getting used to the new strip (which looks typically sharp), checking who enjoyed their time off a bit too much (*cough* *cough* Mesut), spotting the next great youth team hope (Reiss Nelson thanks), and generally wondering why on earth you’re not watching cricket, Wimbledon or spending meaningful time with your kids.
There are of course two sides in this match and Sydney FC should be no pushovers. They dominated the A-League last season, play a disciplined compact style of football and are coached by a man with designs on greater things. The main objective is to pull a crowd and let the tourists put on a show, but the home side will have no problem playing party poopers.
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Jonathan will be here shortly. One man who isn’t in Sydney tonight is Alexis Sánchez, the want-away striker who hasn’t travelled to Australia amid something of a transfer standoff. Have a read of David Hytner’s analysis of that particular situation: