Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs expects his team-mates to raise their game this weekend as the club host their annual pre-season competition, The Emirates Cup.

Despite having a successful pre-season already with four wins from four during their Far East tour, Gibbs expects tough tasks from their oppositions this weekend.

The Gunners will have to face Italian side Napoli on Saturday, who have recently strengthened by signing Pepe Reina and Gonzalo Higuain, and will then play Turkish side Galatasaray in the final game on Sunday, who have the likes of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder.

Arsenal have already scored 19 goals in their four pre-season friendly, picking up a 7-1 win over Indonesia, a 7-0 win over Vietnam, a 3-1 win over Nagoya Grampus and finally a 2-1 win over Urawa Red Dragons.

Despite playing in tough conditions in the Far East, Gibbs believes the tests coming this weekend will be so much harder for the club and he expects all players to raise their game in order to beat the two sides.

“This is where we're really looking to start preparing properly, in terms of full competitiveness on the pitch,” he told Arsenal Player.

“It's our target to treat the Emirates Cup like the season is fast approaching and really go through the gears. We're looking forward to that.

“We missed it last year so it’s good to be coming back and getting a good pre-season game at our home ground. If you don't take it seriously then you're not going to take the season seriously. It's really important that we're fully switched on.”

Gibbs doesn't just have football on his mind though, he also is looking forward to being reunited with ex-Gunner Emmanuel Eboue, who will be returning to the Emirates with new-team Galatasaray.

“What a character he is! He puts a smile on my face like he does to everyone he meets,” he said.

“I'm looking forward to meeting up with him because he was a good friend of mine when he was here and his house in London is quite close to mine. It will be good to see him.”


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