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Arsenal Preseason: 5 Reasons to Watch the 2011 Emirates Cup

Mikhail TurnerContributor IIIJuly 29, 2011

Arsenal Preseason: 5 Reasons to Watch the 2011 Emirates Cup

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    Arsenal are preparing to host the Emirates Cup for the fifth consecutive season.

    Since the tournament's inception in 2007, a number of big European clubs have participated.

    This Saturday and Sunday, Boca Juniors, Paris Saint-Germain and the New York Red Bulls will join Arsenal at the Emirates.

    Arsenal have won three of the four previous editions of this tournament, and they should expect tournament victory number four by the end of Sunday.

    For fans in America the games will be broadcast on ESPN3.com, and of course, there are your other Internet sources.

    The schedule can be found here, in British time, and fans should look forward to a weekend of good football.

The Return of Thierry Henry

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    Arsenal's greatest scorer, and arguably greatest player, returns to the Emirates once more; this time leading the New York Red Bulls.

    He was an integral part of the Arsenal squad from his debut in 1999, to his departure to Barcelona in 2007, and his performances during the "Invincibles" season were absolutely immense.

    Henry led the Premiership in scoring four times during his tenure at Arsenal, and could always be counted on for some magical, and important, goals.

    It is always a bittersweet moment seeing an Arsenal great in familiar surroundings, but wearing a different jersey—and though this is a friendly competition—this time will be no different.

    He is sure to receive a rousing welcome and, hopefully, reignite memories of the past with his performances.

Argentine Playmaker Riquelme

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    Riquelme is a player with immense talent, and one can only wonder what his career would have been like had he been able to establish himself at Barcelona, and had not left the Argentina team in 2008.

    Though he is in the twilight of his career, the silky smooth Argentine is still the main man for this Boca Juniors side.

    His creativity and vision will be on display at the Emirates for two days, and he should be able to provide some great moments of his own.

Rebirth of Paris Saint-Germain

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    The capital club is one of the most popular teams in France, and fans are likely to witness a resurgence this season.

    Paris Saint-Germain is a club with history, having had some success in Europe and France, and some great players have passed through the club doors, including the likes of Ronaldinho.

    A recent change in ownership has given the club a financial boost, and this has seen some top players linked to the club to join the likes of young stars Mamadou Sakho and Jeremy Menez among others.

    While this "rebirth" is similar to that of many teams of late, with huge sums of money being splashed around, it could well bring Paris Saint-Germain back to the upper echelons of French football.

Attacking Play

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    The Emirates Cup is a competition that has seen its fair share of attacking play. Though the rules have changed a bit (one extra point used to be awarded for every goal scored) the teams involve will still get goals.

    Since the tournaments inception there have been 16 games played. In those 16 games, 41 goals have been scored, and with the attacking talent on display that tally is sure to increase.

    Paris Saint-Germain boast the likes of new signing Jeremy Menez, Turkish sensation Melvut Erdinc and former Arsenal target Kevin Gameiro.

    New York Red Bulls will put out Henry, along with US striker Juan Agudelo and speedy Jamaican Dane Richards.

    Boca Juniors have players like Riquelme, Sebastian Battaglia and Dario Cvitanich.

    And, of course, we all know about Arsenal's attacking riches. It will be another chance to see new signing Gervinho, as well as old faces Theo Walcott, Robin Van Persie and so on.

    With all this talent on display, goals are likely.

Another Chance to See Arsenal Preseason Preparations

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    While they will not face the one other European team in the competition they will face a fully fit, and well organized New York Red Bulls team boasting the aforementioned Henry and Rafa Marquez patrolling the back.

    Boca Juniors are also preparing for their season, and will pose their own challenge.

    While the Emirates Cup rewards attacking play, defense should be the name of the game for the Gunners, as they should try their best not to allow goals from these two opponents.

    This is also one of the last times for the fans, and hopefully Arsene Wenger, to decide for themselves what, if any, new signings or needed, or if the team is in good hands.

    Two wins here, and another against Benfica in the last preseason match, will hopefully put Arsenal in good stead for what is a very important season.

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