As the clubs step up preparations for the 2021/22 campaign, Arsenal and Chelsea will face off in a pre-season in a Sunday game – which could see a number of debutants.
The Gunners have been very busy in the transfer market, signing three players so far, and are still looking for reinforcements after a disappointing season.
Ben White recently secured his transfer from Brighton while Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares joined earlier in the window of Anderlecht and Benfica respectively.
A deal for Lautaro Martinez is also reportedly in the works with the club apparently willing to offer money as well as Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette.
Chelsea, meanwhile, were a little more passive at the window. They have yet to sign as Thomas Tuchel is looking to continue after their Champions League success last season.
That being said, a deal for Sevilla center-back Jules Kounde could be reached very soon as the two clubs are in talks on signing the French defender.
With all of that in mind, this is how the two teams could line up before the ‘friendly’.
Bernd Leno is ready for his first minutes of the season after his break after the Euro.
Despite the arrival of Tavares, Kieran Tierney is expected to keep the team’s new signing and with Bellerin’s future still far from clear, Callum Chambers could continue at right-back.
The friendly is probably coming too early for Whites to begin, but he’s likely to be part of the squad and could be on the bench.
Lokonga impressed coming in at halftime in the 4-1 win over Milwall and could get his first minutes in front of his new supporters.
At the top, due to a lack of availability, Arteta is expected to line up captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left, Emile Smith Rowe as number ten, Nicholas Pepe on the right and Lacazette on the top.
The Blues will again welcome many players following their exploits at the Euro.
French and German contingents N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz resumed training a week ago and could all be ready for their first minutes of pre-season.
The £ 73million Bayer Leverkusen man could lead the line with American Christian Pulisic and Moroccan Hakim Ziyech on either side of him.
There are also a few players who might impress. Ziyech, after a mixed first season, is really hoping to start his second year in English football.
He told club media he is feeling good after the 2-1 against Bournemouth.
“I feel good,” said the Moroccan. “I feel strong and look forward to the next game.”
Another player to watch is Havertz. For most of last season he struggled to adjust to the Premier League but really shone towards the end thanks to Tuchel’s help.
He scored the winning goal in the Champions League final and continued that form in Euros by scoring twice in four matches.
For Arsenal, of course, the main man to focus on is Lokonga, arriving for just under £ 18million, he arrives with high expectations.
With Xhaka back in training as well, he will be extremely determined to impress Arteta and his new supporters and keep the Swiss captain away.