The Euros have been entertaining, especially Denmark’s remarkable run and nearly making the Final. Arsenal fans got to see Xhaka’s best as Switzerland’s captain and Saka’s impact with England’s attack. But while we wait for further activity in the transfer market, we can start to look ahead towards Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures. Players recently reported back to training and the first summer friendly is less than a week away. Here’s a quick rundown of the key dates to know, the competitions, how to watch, and some questions to consider.
- 7/13 (Tuesday) vs. Hibernian - 1 pm ET (Update: Will air on ESPN Deportes)
- 7/17 (Saturday) vs. Rangers - 9 am ET
- 7/25 (Sunday) vs. Inter Milan - 6 pm ET
- 7/28 (Wednesday) vs. Everton or Millonarios - Time TBD
- 8/1 (Sunday) vs. Chelsea - 10 am ET
- 8/8 (Sunday) vs. Tottenham - 9 am ET
What is the Florida Cup?
A preseason tournament that has annually brought together clubs from the top 100 European rankings and top 50 from South American. Started in 2015, a Brazilian club has won the competition four times. This will be the first time a club from either England or Italy has participated and will be Millonarios’ first time representing Columbia. The matches will be held in Orlando Florida at Camping World Stadium.
How to Watch
There is no US television coverage for the Florida Cup currently scheduled. However, in past years ESPN and Fox Sports have picked up a number of pre-season friendlies placing them on the ESPN networks, including ESPN+, and FS1 or FS2.
UK-based supporters can buy a 4-match pass for the Scottish games and the Florida Cup for £27.99. International fans should be able to purchase the 2-match package for the Hibernian and Rangers games for £14.99. Those matches will stream on Arsenal.com and are free if you happen to have a Silver, Red, Cannon, Purple, or Junior Gunners membership or are a season ticket holder.
In early August, three London rivals - Arsenal, Tottenham, & Chelsea - will participate in a trio of matches in support of the local mental health organization, Mind. First Arsenal will host Chelsea on 8/1, then Chelsea will host Tottenham on 8/4, before the event wraps up with the Gunners traveling to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. While the club hasn’t announced any streaming details yet, you can expect another Arsenal.com streaming package offered. Proceeds from the matches will go to the Mind charity and split amongst each club’s charities.
"We're back, we're back!"— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 8, 2021
️♂️ And some gym work
Let's get to business
Who to Watch For
While we all await more transfer window updates from the club, both players exiting and new additions to the squad, preseason often offers a great opportunity for younger players to get playing time with the first team and make a case for inclusion in the season ahead. A few questions to explore further as the summer progresses:
- Will we see Saliba feature or will he already be off on his next loan?
- Does Reiss Nelson get a serious look this season if Willian is offloaded?
- Now with Folarin Balogun locked into a long-term deal, can he earn a spot with the first team in the season ahead or will he be heading out on loan?
- After his strong finish to the Premier League season at Newcastle, will Joe Willock be sold or a part of Arteta’s plan as the season starts?
- Will Arthur Okonkwo still be around after signing a new deal, and either way how much playing time will the U23 keepers (Okonkwo & Karl Jakob Hein) get?
- Which U23 players will impress from the likes of Miguel Azeez, Jordi Osei-Tutu (if he is fit), Tyreece John-Jules, Harry Clarke, Ben Cottrell, George Lewis, Kido Taylor-Hart, and Joel López?