The traditional preseason tournament organized by Arsenal will be held in the following two days. Gunners will host the 7th Emirates Cup – a tournament organized by their kit and stadium sponsor.
This year, along with Arsenal, Monaco, Benfica and Valencia will feature in the two day program. For all three teams this will be their debut on this tournament, while Gunners will try to claim their fourth title.
Opening match of the tournament will be played between Valencia and Monaco. Preparation period for Spanish club was not so good. In the last three games, they failed to earn a single victory. First Nurnberg defeated them 3:1. After that, they played in Copa Euroamericana, where they played two games. With the Peruvian team, Alianza Lima, they managed to level the score after being behind by 2:0 on half-time. After the penalty shoot-out, which lasted for 11 series, they conceded defeat. After that, they lost to the Chilean club, Universidad Catolica, by 1:0. They conceded the goal in the 89th minute and manager Santo can’t be satisfied with his team’s recent performances. Their rivals, Monaco have had a completely different mood and form. In their four previous games, they claimed just as many triumphs. After thrashing the Austrian team St.Veit 12:0, they also featured in Copa Euroamericana. They defeated Junior by 1:0 with a spectacular goal by Berbatov, following by another great display in a 4:2 victory over Atletico Nacional. Last victory came six days ago, when brace by Moutinho, secured the win over Parma. All this leads us to the conclusion that the French side is favorite to win both this match and the tournament.
Last year, Arsenal finished third on the Emirates Cup. A draw with Napoli (2:2) and defeat against Galatasaray (2:1 with brace from Drogba, the player who gives his best performances against Arsenal). This time, they will try to win their fourth title on this tournament (along with three 3rd spots they achieved in the past). Their preseason was solid up to now – they triumphed over Boreham Wood (2:0) following a defeat against New York Red Bull in USA (1:0). This tournament will be their final preparation ahead of the Community Shield match. As winners of the FA Cup in the previous season, they will face Premier League Champions, Manchester City, on Wembley stadium. Matches against Benfica (on Saturday) and Monaco (on Sunday) will give manager Wenger a clear view of how strong his team is at the moment. Unlike them, the preparation period for Benfica started in the second half of July, but results were very disappointing both for fans and players. In past five games, they managed to triumph over Sion and were defeated against Atheltic Bilbao, Ajax, Marseille, Sporting and Estoril. Emirates Cup will be a rehearsal for the upcoming season in the Portuguese league. In the past, these two teams faced each other three years ago, in a friendly match. Benfica was victorious then (2:1).
Interesting games are ahead of the fans of those four clubs. Apart from Valencia, all of them will feature in Champions League as well, so this tournament will host some of the best names in European football.