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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arsenal vs AC Milan: A Tough Challenge for Wenger at Emirates Cup 2010

Emirates Cup 2010 begins on 31 July with the match between Celtic and Olympique Lyon. Host Arsenal would face AC Milan in their tournament opener on the same day. Arsenal fans are expecting a strong performance from Wenger boys against the Italian giants, but it seems the Gunners are going to face a tough challenge from Milan.

Arsenal is currently in Austria preparing for the next season and has won both of their friendly matches against the local clubs. However, AC Milan would be a much stronger opponent than SK Sturm Graz and SC Neusiedl 1919.

Emirates Cup may not be a highly significant tournament for the participating teams, but winning the tournament title would be a real confidence booster ahead of the new season. So, all of them would like to win the title. Arsenal fans would also love to see Wenger boys defending their title successfully.

However, the most important thing is that Arsenal would be without some of their key players including Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie, both of whom would join the pre-season training on 5 August. Nicklas Bendtner is now sidelined with a groin injury that has already ruled him out for the start of the season.

Denilson and Abou Diaby could be available for the last pre-season friendly affair against Legia Warsaw on 7 August, but it is most likely they would miss the Emirates Cup. Defender Johan Djourou is uncertain after picking up a minor hamstring injury during Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Neusiedl.

Overall, Arsene Wenger is now left with a squad missing at least 4 or 5 regular players and he has to guide the Gunners in their pursuit of defending the Emirates Cup title. Arsenal’s second match in the tournament is against Celtic, but the opening encounter with AC Milan looks a crucial one for Wenger and his boys.

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