Arsenal will face a stern test against PSG in their International Champions Cup fixture on Saturday at the Singapore National Stadium.
Arsenal will continue their pre-season preparation as they meet Ligue 1 champions PSG at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday. With just two weeks remaining before the new season kicks off, both sides will look to freshen up their regular first-team players ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
The game will largely revolve around Arsenal coach Unai Emery, however. The Spaniard left PSG at the end of last season following a disastrous Champions League campaign, where they were knocked out in the Round of 16 against eventual champions Real Madrid. Thus, a win against his former employer will give Emery a much-needed boost as he seeks to usher in a new era at Arsenal next season.
As for PSG, newly appointed Thomas Tuchel will have a mammoth task of inflicting his tactical philosophy within the coming weeks. But, on a more positive note, this highly contested encounter against Arsenal will provide him with the perfect opportunity to assert his tactical thoughts into these new set of players before the French Ligue 1 kicks off next month.
Thus, both sides have enough reasons to go all out on this highly anticipated encounter in the International Champions Cup fixture. And here at the HardTackle, we run the rule over the two sides before they lock horns this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
Arsenal will be ready to unleash their strongest XI in this encounter as Unai Emery looks to churn out a positive result against his former club. Fortunately for the Gunners, a host of their star players will be available for this clash along with most of their new signings.
The likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulous and Aaron Ramsey featured in the last game against Atletico Madrid. They will retain their places in the starting eleven.
Elsewhere, Matteo Guendouzi, who also featured against Atletico, bags a lot of promise and is expected to play a key role from the bench. A good performance against the French giants will surely help him make a mark at his new club.
Club captain Laurent Koscielny is still out with a long-term injury, which will pave the way for Shkodran Mustafi to start in central defence alongside Sokratis. Another newcomer, Bernd Leno will be the man between the sticks for the North-London giants.
Arsenal head coach Emery should retain his 4-2-3-1 formation used against Atletico with a host of players also retaining their places.
For one, Arsenal fans will be excited to witness Emile Smith Rowe, who scored Arsenal’s only goal against Atletico Madrid. The 17-year-old showed a lot of promise and will be deployed alongside Aaron Ramsey in central midfield. His pace and dynamism will be key against the talented set of PSG midfielders.
While in attack, we can expect the influential trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette to be included in the starting lineup. However, all eyes will be on Ozil, who will also be available after announcing his retirement from the German National Team.
Probable Starting Lineup(4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Papastathopoulous, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Ramsey, Smith-Rowe; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Lacazette; Aubameyang.
Unlike Arsenal, PSG will be missing out on the services of a series of star players, all of whom are either out injured or enjoying extended vacation due to the World Cup. The list includes the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Meunier amongst many others.
However, this will enable Thomas Tuchel to try out his luck with some of the younger players in the squad, much like what he did in the game against Bayern. Thus, we can once again expect to witness the highly talented Timothy Weah to lead the attack for Les Parisiens.
Tuchel deployed the experimental 3-4-3 formation against Bayern but should revert to his preferred 4-1-4-1 with Lassana Diarra being deployed at the heart of the formation.
Adrien Rabiot is also expected to retain his position in central midfield. Much has been documented regarding the future of the Frenchman and a good performance against Arsenal should help him seal a big-money move away from Paris, with Barcelona reportedly keen on his services.
New signing Gianluigi Buffon will retain his place in the starting eleven while PSG also have the option of playing the likes of Julian Draxler, Jese and Giovani lo Celso, all of whom are expected to play a key role in the second half.
Predicted Starting Lineup(4-1-4-1 formation): Buffon; Georgen, Rimane, Mbe Soh, Kurzawa; Diarra; Dagba, Rabiot, Toufiqui, Nsoki; Weah
International Champions Cup journey so far
Premier League giants Arsenal opened their ICC campaign with a win over Atletico Madrid via penalties. The Gunners were pegged back just before the end of the first half through a goal from Luciano Vietto. However, the North London outfit managed to level the scoreline shortly after the restart thanks to a stunning striker from youngster Smith-Rowe.
PSG, on the other hand, were all over the place in their game against Bayern as they were defeated 3-1. Even though the French champions took the lead in the first half thanks to a goal from Timothy Weah, the Bavarians came out all guns blazing in the second half, scoring three goals in quick succession to churn out a convincing win.
Player to watch
As mentioned earlier, the long-term future of Adrien Rabiot at PSG has been a subject of some serious discussion in the past few weeks. According to certain reports, the Frenchman isn’t happy at the French capital and is seeking a move to a top club in Europe this summer, which has reportedly attracted the interest of FC Barcelona.
Thus, the 23-year-old midfielder will be keen on making an impression against Arsenal, in an attempt to lure interest from his potential suitors. Rabiot did feature did in the 3:1 loss against Bayern but struggled to impose himself. However, facing a much more inexperienced Arsenal side should be a relatively easier task for this highly rated French international.
Arsenal 2-0 PSG
Arsenal are huge favourites going into this clash largely due to their availability of key players. While PSG are still without the services of some of their most important players, the likes of Ozil, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan are already available for their English counterparts.
And despite the obvious strength in PSG’s youth players, a win against Arsenal will be too much to ask for and thus, it should be a straightforward win for the Gunners and more so, for Unai Emery.