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Arsenal Vs Malaysia XI: Match Preview

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Arsenal v Malaysia XI
Kuala Lumpur
July 24, 2012
KO: 2:45 PM BST/9:45 AM EDT/6:45 AM PDT
TV: Arsenal Player (live)

The first match of Arsenal's pre-season Asia tour happens tomorrow as the Gunners take on a composite Malaysia XI. Like last season's tour, the Malaysia XI is expected to mostly be the current Malaysia national team, who are ranked 157th and have players that your intrepid writer has never heard of. Pulitzer please! On the plus side, their manager looks like the Asian Arsene Wenger, so they have that going for them.

Last year, Arsenal comfortably beat Malaysia 4-0, with Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela (remember him?) and Tomas Rosicky scoring, and one would expect Arsenal to again win comfortably tomorrow. If not, the club should seriously consider liquidating as they'll no longer be able to match Thomas Eisfeld's ambition. CLUB IN CRISIS!

Eisfeld is one of the players in contention for a starting role, with the only other natural #10 in the squad being Chuks Aneke. Meanwhile, Abou Diaby is shockingly fit, so he should also get 45 minutes of playing time. Craig Eastmond impressed against Anderlecht and Southampton, and with Francis Coquelin otherwise occupied at right back until Bacary Sagna returns, Eastmond could find himself with some minutes in the deeper midfield position normally occupied by Alex Song, who only returned to preseason training last Monday.

Other players to look out for include newly promoted Kyle Bartley, Ignasi Miquel and Nico Yennaris, who's also in the mix for a right back spot after impressing against Manchester United and Leeds United during the full back crisis of 2012. Benik Afobe has also been included in the squad, and, if he has a good preseason, he could be included as the third striker in the squad with the futures of Marouane Chamakh, Park Ju-Young and Nicklas Bendtner uncertain. Ryo Miyaichi should also be involved tomorrow.

Tomorrow won't tell us much about any adjustments that Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould might have made during training, given the quality of the opposition and the mixed nature of the squad. But, it's Arsenal football, and that is a Good Thing.