Match Preview: Chivas vs. Arsenal

Date: Monday 1st August 2016
Location: StubHub Center, Carson (CA)
Competition: Friendly
Kick-Off: 02:00 BST

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Arsenal’s tour of the US will conclude on Sunday evening as they take on Chivas de Guadalajara at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Their second and final game of their stateside trip comes after they narrowly defeated the MLS All-Star team in San Jose on Thursday night, with goals from Joel Campbell and Chuba Akpom enough to overcome Didier Drogba’s goal for the hosts.

Arsene Wenger was able to field a number of players who featured in the European Championships this summer with the likes of Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin and Jack Wilshere returning to the fold, whilst Swiss international Granit Xhaka also made an impressive second half appearance in what was his first game for the club following his £30m transfer back in May.

Wenger will be forced to field a youthful-looking centre-half pairing once more with Mertesacker, Gabriel and Koscielny all absent from the tour, although the manager will have been buoyed by the performance of 20-year-old Rob Holding against the All-Stars following his £2.5m transfer from Bolton last week. Holding will likely partner Calum Chambers in the heart of the Gunners defence on Sunday night.

The game could also mark the return of Santi Cazorla, who alongside fellow Spaniards Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal modelled Arsenal’s new kit at their launch in Los Angeles last might. The diminutive playmaker missed most of the second half of last season, returning only for the last game of the campaign against Aston Villa, so fans will be hoping to see him back in an Arsenal shirt for this game.

In terms of fresh injury worries, Francis Coquelin seemed to have done some damage to his knee against the All-Stars and was subsequently substituted at half-time in that match, although there has been no talk of any lasting damage since and he appeared alongside the rest of the squad in training yesterday.

Chivas are currently in the middle of their Liga MX season and will likely field a team comprised solely of Mexican nationals. Following this game, Arsenal are due to travel to Scandinavia to face Viking in Norway and Premier League rivals Manchester City in Sweden.

Unvailable: Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Sanchez, Welbeck (injury), Gabriel (illness), Giroud, Koscielny, Ozil, Ramsey (holiday)

Predicted Line-up: Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Monreal; Cazorla, Xhaka, Reine-Adelaide, Wilshere, Campbell; Akpom


Callum Perritt

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