Arsene Wenger has told reporters ahead of his club’s friendly against Manchester City tomorrow in Helsinki that Arsenal will be putting out a side similar to the one that will face Aston Villa in Arsenal’s Premier League season opener next Saturday.
The long-time Arsenal manger won’t be able to start his strongest eleven due to injuries and the absence of some of the club’s players but insists that it will be a side close to what fans will see next weekend.
“It is not necessarily [the team that will face Villa] because players like Rosicky are not here and one or two players have little muscular problems – but it will be close,” Wenger said, according to Arsenal’s official website.
“I consider that I have 16 regular players and no matter who starts or does not [against City], they will be considered for a start against Aston Villa.”
Arsenal played well during their preseason tour of Asia but stumbled a bit this past weekend in the Emirates Cup, drawing 2-2 to Napoli and losing 2-1 to Galatasary. This weekend will be the first time Arsenal see another Premier League side this season and Wenger discussed his excitement over being able to play a team of City’s caliber.
“For us it’s a good opportunity to play against Man City. What is important is to have a good competition level one week before the season starts,” Wenger said, according to Arsenal’s official website.
“It’s hard because they buy good players of course, but it’s exciting and stimulating as well.”
Manchester City have added four strong players this summer, including strikers Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic, electric winger Jesus Navas, and versatile midfielder Fernandinho. The Citizens will prove a strong test for the Gunners tomorrow as the clubs are set to square off at 15:00.