MLS All-Star Game 2016: Live Stream, TV Guide and Final Predictions

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2016

COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 29:  Kaka #22 of MLS All-Stars receives the MVP trophy for the 2015 AT&T Major League Soccer All-Star game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 29, 2015 in Commerce City, Colorado. The MLS All-Stars defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

An MLS All-Star XI featuring Clint Dempsey, David Villa, Didier Drogba and Kaka will face off against Premier League giants Arsenal in a friendly on Thursday, as Arsene Wenger's talented team visits the shores of the United States.

San Jose Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear takes the reins for the American side as they pit themselves against the north London mainstays from England's top division.

The game takes place at the Avaya Stadium, San Jose, California, as the Gunners improve their fitness before their new campaign kicks off against Liverpool on Aug. 14.

Here is how you can watch the entertaining friendly encounter:


Date: Thursday, July 28

Time: 7.30 p.m. ET / 12.30 a.m. BST (Friday)

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TV: ESPN (U.S.), Sky Sports 3 and HD (UK) 

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), WatchESPN (U.S.)


Match Preview And Prediction 

The biggest names in Major League Soccer once again convene to take on top foreign opposition as they welcome Arsenal to California on their pre-season endeavours.

For the second year running, Brazil legend Kaka of Orlando City will be given the armband to lead the MLS superstar team, as voted by American soccer fans, per MLS:

Major League Soccer @MLS

Congrats to @KAKA for winning our #MLSAllStar captain vote! He'll wear the armband against @Arsenal. https://t.co/tz0woNJHO4

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE  21:  Clint Dempsey #8 of United States prior to the Copa America Centenario Semifinal match between United States and Argentina at NRG Stadium on June 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  Argentina won the match 4-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

The All-Star squad features a mix of new blood and veteran names as they attempt to halt the Gunners finding form before the Premier League commences on Aug. 13.

On Thursday, U.S. men's national team hero Dempsey will share attacking duties with Spain legend Villa and former Chelsea icon Drogba.

According to MLSSoccer.com, Wenger has packed his squad full of talent for the trip to San Jose, but central defensive members Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista did not make the flight. The Germany World Cup-winning defender has suffered a knee injury that could see him miss five months of season, per Sky Sports, while Gabriel is missing after a bout of tonsillitis.

Arsenal announced their travelling party via their official Twitter feed:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

And here's who you can expect to see at #ArsenalUSA! https://t.co/5rQeQOoh0s

The presence of Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will guarantee the Gunners have credible goal threats in the final third, as the England trio look to impress Wenger in the hope of obtaining regular starting places.

Arsenal also include Berlin-born talent Gedion Zelalem, who is eligible to play for the United States after becoming a U.S citizen in 2015 and has represented the under-23 national side.

The MLS All-Star team have an inexperienced defensive core, with two young goalkeepers selected in David Bingham of San Jose and Andre Blake of Philadelphia Union, but Kinnear will hope his high-class attacking options will hurt the Gunners' back-four.

Adam Hunger/Associated Press

New York City striker Villa, a 2014 purchase from La Liga side Atletico Madrid, had a strong first campaign with the east-coast club, scoring 18 goals and providing eight assists, according to NYCFC.com.

If the game was taking place mid-season for Arsenal, they would be overwhelming favourites to conquer any contingent from MLS.

However, the Gunners' lack of fitness will be key to the result of the contest and allow the All-Stars the chance of an unexpected win.

Even with big names such as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard missing for the All-Star team, the presence of experienced campaigners should give them the edge in the friendly match.

Arsenal will simply be hoping to obtain fitness over a positive result, allowing the hosts to push forward for a victory at the Avaya Stadium.


Prediction: MLS All-Star XI 2-1 Arsenal

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