Update: The Arsenal squad for the Amsterdam Tournament has been named. You can find it here. Eduardo has been included but to my knowledge he won’t be playing the first game against Lazio but should feature against Ajax.
Amsterdam Tournament set to begin
Arsenal take on Italian side Lazio tonight in the first match of the Amsterdam Tournament. Arsene Wenger’s side won the tournament the last time it competed back in 2005 and will be looking to add a second pre-season trophy after already winning the Emirates Cup last weekend. Perhaps more importantly, with the start of the Premiership season just under two weeks away, Wenger will want to ensure his side puts in some good performances in their two games against Lazio and the Dutch hosts, Ajax.
There’s been little in the way of a match preview from Arsenal.com and after Wenger gave English youngster Kieran Gibbs a start against Inter Milan, it would be ridiculous to predict a starting line-up. Eduardo da Silva will still be unavailable for the match as he appeals against his previously unsuccessful bid for a work permit. Wenger previously stated that Eduardo would be allowed to play the tournament because it is being hosted outside of the UK, but he will more likely feature against Ajax. Emmanuel Adebayor and Tomas Rosicky should both be returning from injury so I would expect both of them to start as well.
How will Arsenal line up?
To be perfectly honest I don’t know too much about Lazio, but a quick look at their current squad suggests to me that they are not the team they once were. The only player of real note is ex-Italian international Simone Inzaghi and even he is getting on a bit. Arsenal’s young team will surely be up for the game and I am expecting nothing less than a win to get the tournament off to a perfect start. It will be interesting to see whether Wenger continues using Alexander Hleb in behind the striker where he performed so admirably against PSG and Inter Milan on the weekend. It will also be interesting to see whether Emmanuel Eboue continues to play as an attacking winger on the right. Personally, I hope he does both. I also hope he gives Lukasz Fabianski a start in goals for the sole reason that I’m yet to see him play yet. He definitely seems like he wants the chance to prove that he will be Arsenal’s future number one after some tasty comments made earlier this week:
“I know that Lehmann is in a better position than me but it doesn’t worry me at all. I just want to focus on hard work and I know that the results will come. I know that I will have my chances. I just need to prove that I am good enough.”
Good for him. I will be posting a match analysis after the game and I look forward to hearing your opinions about what went well and what didn’t. And if you want to watch the game and don’t have pay TV then I encourage you to sign up for Arsenal TV, an excellent service which streams all of the club’s pre-season matches live as well as providing interviews and the like to keep you busy between games. And no, I’m not being paid to say that, I just think it is very, very good.
Finally, it might be worth noting that I have just introduced a Fixtures page on the blog. It includes match reports for the games that Arsenal have already played and the dates and fixtures of all matches they are yet to play. If you haven’t already seen Arsenal’s fixtures for next season then get in there and check it out. Who knows, you might enjoy yourself.
Have your say on Arsenal’s upcoming match against Lazio by leaving a comment.