Arsenal open preseason play with a match against Indonesia as a part of the club's Asia Tour. The journey serves as an opportunity to expand the Gunners' brand while also preparing the squad for another highly anticipated season.
The fixtures over the next couple weeks won't showcase the same intensity as a Premier League or Champions League match. That said, it's a good chance for the squad to shake off some rust and also for the younger players to gain some experience.
With the start of the Premier League campaign on the horizon, expectations are beginning to take shape for Arsenal. After a strong finish to last season, the Gunners must attempt to build off that success as they hope to push toward the top of the table.
Let's take a glance at all the key information for the Indonesia clash, followed by a preview and prediction as Arsenal get the preseason underway.
Where: GBK Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia
When: Sunday, July 14 at 9:45 a.m. ET and 2:45 p.m. BT
Watch: ESPN UK
Stream: Arsenal Player ('As Live' Replay)
Any fans who were expecting Arsenal to make a major splash in the transfer market have been disappointed—at least so far. Manager Arsene Wenger didn't rule out some moves in comments passed along by the club's official site but said preparing the squad for EPL play is the main task.
"We have one thing in that we created the momentum at the end of last season and for us the purpose is to transfer that momentum into the new season with a strong start," he said. "Are we capable of doing that? Well, that will certainly decide how much we will be competing in the Premier League - that is the most important target. The second most important target is to still bring in players and strengthen the squad. I expect that, but as you know that is not done yet."
With the top clubs going through managerial changes, the door could be open for Arsenal to make a serious push toward the top. Rediscovering the form they showed near the end of last season and adding a couple players capable of making an instant impact is key.
The preseason schedule is a balancing act for Wenger. He wants to get his stars enough playing time to ensure they're prepared to hit the ground running next month, but he can't push them too hard with another busy season ahead.
Against Indonesia, a lot will depend on the lineup the longtime boss decides to utilize. If he goes with a strong first-team squad, the Gunners should be able to control the match. If not, the match will be more competitive throughout.
Of course, the results of the preseason matches don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Making it through the tour without suffering any significant injuries and some strong performances from first-team hopefuls would be a success.
Indonesia called up an inexperienced squad to face the Gunners. One player who should worry the back line is Boaz Solossa, a 27-year-old striker who's scored seven goals in 25 international appearances. He's the side's most dangerous attacking player.
Otherwise, it's a group that features a bunch of young players hoping to make enough of an impact to get more chances moving forward. They should get a chance to shine in what should be a pretty wide open match from the outset.
All told, expect Wenger to go with a pretty strong group featuring many of his normal starters as the club looks to begin the tour on a high note. After grabbing a lead in the first half, the reserves can then take care of business in the second.
Prediction: Arsenal 3, Indonesia 1
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