The eighth edition of the Emirates Cup kicks off this weekend, with hosts Arsenal looking to win their second piece of preseason silverware this month.
Arsenal lifted the Premier League Asia Trophy last Saturday, beating Everton 3-1 in the final of the Singapore-based event, with goals from Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners will go into their home tournament as significant favourites with the bookmakers.
However, Arsene Wenger’s men have failed to win the Emirates Cup in its last three runnings, losing out to York Red Bulls, Galatasaray and Valencia in 2011, 2013 and 2014 respectively. The event was not held in 2012 due to the London Olympics.
Arsenal were dominant in the early years of the Emirates Cup, winning it three times between 2007 and 2010.
Olympique Lyonnais, Villarreal and Wolfsburg make up the numbers this year.
As always the format is a round robin, with each team playing just two matches. Three points will be awarded for a win, while each draw and goal is worth one point.
Arsenal will not play Villarreal, who finished sixth in La Liga last season.
The Gunners begin their challenge on Saturday against Ligue 1 runners-up Lyon, before closing the tournament by playing Wolfsburg, who finished second in the 2014-15 Bundesliga, a day later.
Wolfsburg are expected to provide Arsenal with their biggest challenge.
Wenger’s men will be keen to keep former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne quiet. The 24-year-old scored 10 goals and produced 20 assists in the German league last season, as well as netting five and making five in the Europa League.
Arsenal go into the Emirates Cup without Alexis Sanchez, who is being rested following his Copa America heroics for Chile.
David Ospina is also expected to sit out this weekend, although he may not have featured anyway, with Petr Cech and Wojciech Szczesny ahead of him in the goalkeeping pecking order.
Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky remain injured.
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