Arsenal’s preseason rolls on in Florida this evening where the Gunners will take on MLS side Orlando City. According to our friends over at The Mane Land, we should expect the home side to trot out a less-than full-strength lineup. Orlando City are in the midst of a tough stretch of matches and are likely to be resting key players ahead of their U.S. Open Cup semifinal this weekend.
UPDATE: Kickoff delayed 30 minutes due to inclement weather.
UPDATE #2: Kickoff delayed an additional 30 minutes. Now scheduled for 8:30 pm ET.
It would be nice for the Gunners to get a stiffer test, but they’ve got a match against Chelsea at the weekend and one against Sevilla in London next week for that. The most important part of preseason is working on touch / sharpness, getting to match fitness, and learning new teammates. You get that through reps. And even though I expect to see a less-talented Orlando City side, I’m guessing their squad players and youngsters will be eager to put in a good shift against a Premier League club. Hopefully that exuberance will manifest in high energy and pressure more than reckless challenges.
My hope is that some of the players who have been nursing injuries but have recently returned to training will get a run out before the season starts. Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, Kieran Tierney, and Fabio Vieira all missed out against Everton in Baltimore through injury. Only White and Vieira are confirmed back in training, and I suspect it’s too soon for the Portuguese midfielder to feature. Hopefully some of them will be ready to face Chelsea on Saturday or at least Sevilla next weekend.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tavares, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Pepe, Martinelli, Nketiah
Pre-season team news!— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 20, 2022
Eddie leads the line
✈️ Holding captains the side
Elneny x Sambi in midfield
Orlando City SC - Gallese, Moutinho, Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Halliday, Michel, Araujo, Perea, Mulraney, Torres, Pato
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