Tomorrow the Gunners will be facing Gonzalo Higuain's new club Napoli in the pre-season competition that is the Emirates Cup.

Having made no new signings so far and missed out on key targets including Higuain, Arsene Wenger will have a lot of pressure heaped on him by fans to win the competition that Arsenal have won three times already.

For many fans this will be their first opportunity to see their team play on a competitive level against teams of similar quality: Napoli and Galatasaray.

Higuain and Pepe Reina signed for the club from Naples in the summer transfer window while Champions League quarter-finalists Galatasaray boast a star-studded side including Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder.

Arsenal's first game will come against Serie A runners-up Napoli, who have signed a host of players as they bid to mount a title challenge in Italy.

Although this was expected at Arsenal, Yaya Sanogo is the only player who has joined the north London club. With a lack of signings and no significant strengthening of the Gunners' squad, they will have to produce a victory in this competition to not only raise the morale of the players but also bring a smile to the fans' faces. 

This is also the opportunity for Sanogo to impress the coaching staff at Arsenal and to also legitimately challenge Olivier Giroud for a starting spot.

Arsenal have an advantage on the stage as they have an unchanged squad that doesn't have any injuries to key first-team players. Wenger said in his press conference that he loves the competition and that Jack Wilshere is very close to being 100% fit.

Santi Cazorla will also return to play with the first team and we will see what the year of adaptation between the players in the squad has done.

Wenger was also quick to mention his respect to Napoli and their coaching staff and their abilities in the Italian top-flight. He spoke about how they are dangerous on the flanks and that playmaker Marek Hamsik will also have to be keenly marked.

Arsene Wenger cited Galatasaray's ability and how he is looking forward to the return of Arsenal fan-favourite Eboue. Although the Gunners will not face FC Porto, Wenger praised their financial stability and their effective scouting systems in South America.

Should Arsenal end the weekend with a trophy in hand, the possibilities of what they can achieve next season are endless.

Should they also sign a major player and address the squad's weaknesses, this Arsenal side look set to take next season by storm.

If this trophy is won, and the players get a taste for silverware, this season could be the season in which the eight years without a major trophy finally ends for the Gunners.

 

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
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