Monday, July 19, 2010

Arsenal vs Sturm Graz: Another Friendly with the Focus on Good Preparation

Arsenal is going to play against Austrian club Sturm Graz in Austria on 21 July. This match would be part of Arsenal’s preparation in Austria ahead of the Emirates Cup starting from 31 July at the Emirates Stadium in London.

Arsenal got an easy 4-0 victory over Barnet in their first pre-season friendly match last Saturday. The good news for the Gunners is that some of their fringe players like Jay Simpson were impressive. The former England U-17 and U-18 international, Simpson, scored two goals following Andrey Arshavin’s second-minute opener. Another starlet Samir Nasri completed Arsenal’s scoring in the second half.

Wenger used 22 players in the match as he featured a new eleven in the second half. He also gave playing time to his two new signings Laurent Koscielny and Marouane Chamakh.

So, it is pretty much clear that Wenger wants to ensure the best preparation for his squad members. He would most probably follow the same thing against Sturm Graz too. Young impressive players like Jay Simpson could be featured in the starting line up against the Austrian outfit, while players like Koscielny and Chamakh would get their fair share of playing time to adapt to the Arsenal style.

Overall, Arsenal’s focus would largely be on getting the best preparation. However, that does not mean that winning the affair would not be an objective for the Gunners. In fact, the North London side would like to win it to boost up their confidence level, but the focus would remain on good preparation without picking up any new injury problem.

In any other competition, Sturm Graz could have been a clear underdog, but as it is a friendly showdown anything can happen. The home side could put on some inspirational performance knowing that they are playing against one of the top three English clubs.

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