BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 27: Benik Afobe (R) of Arsenal FC challenges Kolo Toure of Manchester City during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Birds Nest Stadium on July 27, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Arsenal play their final match of this summer's Asia Tour tomorrow morning against reigning Hong Kong champions Kitchee FC. After this match, there's only one pre-season fixture left unless Arsenal organise something for next weekend, so hopefully the players are closer towards readiness for the new season than they were on Tuesday. They looked so on Friday, and it'll be interesting to see who starts given that a majority of players played more than 45 minutes against Manchester City.
This match, though, starts at 5 AM on the East Coast, which means I will not be seeing it live. If it was a Premier League game, I'd get up, but I draw the line at pre-season fixtures at 5 in the morning. But, when I do watch it, here's some things I'll be looking for:
So far this pre-season, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's played mostly through the middle. Does this continue against Kitchee, and if so, is it from a deeper role or behind the striker?
Does Andre Santos continue his kind of free role on the left hand side, or do we have Gervinho play there?
With lots of talk of Arsenal switching to a 4-4-2 at some point this season, does Arsene Wenger give his midfield some practice at that, and play a 4-4-2/4-2-4 mix? And if he does, who is the midfield pairing, and how much is their forward movement restricted?
Does Gervinho play centre forward again, or is it going to be Marouane Chamakh and Benik Afobe, or both together? Or does Gervinho play off of Chamakh, giving him space to drive into when Chamakh drops off?
Finally, as big fans of Chuks Aneke, does he get a starting role? If so, is it in the #10 role, or in a deeper role?
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