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Arsenal kick off their pre-season tour of the United States on Monday when they take on Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
It has hardly been a serene buildup for the Gunners, who will be without captain Laurent Koscielny after he refused to travel on the tour.
Arsenal’s fans have also recently criticised owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the Rapids:
Henry Winter @henrywinter
Powerful letter from #afc fans: calls on Kroenke to “reinvigorate” a club “at a crossroads”, engage with “marginalised” fans, show “better leadership”, improve the “poor” atmosphere at the Emirates and make “some new and dynamic appointments” to the board. #WeCareDoYou https://t.co/83hwVTibyg
Even so, the Gunners should have enough quality to get a win under their belts, and they are strong favourites to win on Monday.
Date: Monday, July 15
Time: 7 p.m. local, 9 p.m. ET, 2 a.m. BST (Tuesday)
TV Info: Premier 1 (UK)
Live Stream: Premier Player
Match Odds (via Oddschecker.com): Colorado Rapids 10-1, Arsenal 2-7, Draw 17-4
Arsenal will understandably not be at 100 per cent against the Rapids, and manager Unai Emery is likely to field a number of academy players.
Reiss Nelson will be one to watch as he looks to put himself in contention for first-team action in the 2019-20 Premier League.
The England under-21 international impressed on loan at Hoffenheim last season, where he made 23 Bundesliga appearances and scored seven goals:
Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul
Bundesliga Rookie of the Year nominees:
Achraf Hakimi #BVB
Evan N’Dicka #SGE
Dodi Lukebakio #F95
Reiss Nelson #TSG
Matheus Pereira #FCN
Nicolas Gonzalez #VfB
Ozan Kabak #VfB
Nelson, 19, will have to be well marshalled by the Rapids’ defence, or else he could cause all kinds of problems in Colorado.
Arsenal’s other established starters like Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette should all be in action as well.
That kind of quality in attack is likely to prove too much for the Rapids to handle.
After 20 games of the 2019 MLS season, the Colorado outfit are joint-bottom of the Western Conference on 20 points.
They go into Monday’s clash having won just one of their last four league games.
They could, though, cause Arsenal’s defence some problems if they are adventurous enough in attack.
The Gunners conceded more than 51 goals in the Premier League last term, and without Koscielny, they will be vulnerable at the back.
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