Nagoya Grampus vs. Arsenal: Preview, Team News and More for Preseason Friendly

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2013

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Ryo Miyaichi of Arsenal FC looks on during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Arsenal are now on the third leg of their preseason tour of Asia.

Having visited Indonesia and Vietnam, the Gunners are currently enjoying a training camp in Nagoya, Japan. On Monday they will face off against Japanese club side Nagoya Grampus.

Nagoya Grampus are one of only four teams to have competed in Japan's top flight ever since its 1993 inception. The team's most successful year came in 1995, when they finished runners-up in the J-League under the stewardship of a certain Arsene Wenger. Their star player that year was Dragan Stojkovic, who now manages the team.

This is bound to be more than just an exercise in increasing stamina. For Wenger, this match will mark an important return to a club he served with distinction and pride.


Match: Nagoya Grampus vs. Arsenal


Where: Toyota Stadium, Nagoya, Japan


When: Monday, July 22, 11.30 a.m. UK-time


Team News

Arsenal's preseason schedule continues to proceed without any major injury scares. Aaron Ramsey limped out of the last friendly against an Indonesia XI so he may miss this fixture. Otherwise, the squad remains in good shape.

 Players to Watch

All eyes at the Toyata Stadium will be on Ryo Miyaichi. Speaking to, the younger winder sounded determined to make a good impression in his homeland:

At Nagoya Grampus now, they have a very good calibre of players and I'm looking forward to playing against them on Monday. I will try to do my best and try to show them my speed, stamina and good play. 

Miyaichi will know a good performance in Nagoya could increase his chances of getting an opportunity in the Arsenal first-team this season. 

Nagoya Grampus will also be keeping a keen eye on striker Olivier Giroud, who has netted five goals in less than 90 minutes of preseason thus far. The Frenchman's prolific form has helped dampen the clamour for a new striker.

As Miyaichi suggests, Nagoya Grampus have plenty of good players of their own. Their most globally renowned star is arguably Australian striker Joshua Kennedy. The towering forward has played in the World Cup, and was a teammate of Lukas Podolski at FC Koln.