Important pre-season ahead as Arsenal bid to kick-on

Arsenal face a hugely important summer as they prepare for what they hope will be a more productive 2019/20 season.
The Gunners’ 4-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Europa League Final on Wednesday highlighted the flaws in Unai Emery’s squad and left fans fearful of what the future holds.
A victory in the final would have secured a Champions League spot next season, but the club now faces another year outside Europe’s elite.
However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Arsenal finished just a point off the top four in the Premier League last term and Emery will be eager to build on that next time around.
With question marks hanging over both Chelsea and Manchester United, there will be plenty of fans willing to back Arsenal at odds of 13/10 to bag a top four place next season.
They are priced at 28/1 to win the title, but that will probably prove beyond them with Manchester City and Liverpool looking a class apart right now.
Pre-season will be a crucial period for the Arsenal manager as he tries to lay the foundations for a successful 2019/20 campaign.
The Gunners begin warming up for the new season with a friendly match against Colorado Rapids in Denver on Monday, July 15.
Colorado have struggled in Major League Soccer over the past couple of seasons, twice finishing 11th in the Western Conference.
They have made a disappointing start to the current campaign, but will be eager to take advantage of any rustiness in the Arsenal camp.
Emery’s side quickly turn their attentions to the International Champions Cup after facing Rapids as they head out to California to play Bayern Munich on July 17.
The Gunners finished fourth in last season’s ICC, winning two and losing one of their three matches, while Bayern won just one of their three games to finish in 13th place.
Arsenal then head east to take on Serie A side Roma in North Carolina in their second game, before completing their ICC schedule with a potential blockbuster clash with Real Madrid in Maryland.
The North London side return home to take on Ligue 1 outfit Lyon in a revamped Emirates Cup on Sunday, July 28.
Joe Montemurro’s Women’s Super League champions will go head-to-head with Bayern Munich to kick-off proceedings, before the men’s side face Lyon later in the day.
Arsenal pre-season schedule
• July 15 – Colorado Rapids – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City CO
• July 17 – Bayern Munich – Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson CA
• July 20 – Roma – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte NC
• July 23 – Real Madrid – FedEx Field, Landover MD
• July 28 – Lyon – Emirates Stadium, London
The 2019/20 Premier League fixtures will be released on Thursday, June 13, with the season getting underway on Saturday, August 10.

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