After a disappointing result against Hibernian earlier this week, Arsenal take on Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday to help celebrate the Scottish champions’ 150th-anniversary.
Mikel Arteta wasn’t happy with the result at Easter Road on Tuesday, but it’s only pre-season. Of course, there’s no better feeling than winning, but the most important thing at the moment is to get everyone up to full fitness.
The game against Rangers will be a tougher test for the Gunners. Arteta knows the Scottish champions really well having spent two seasons at Ibrox. It will be a special occasion for him, and as much as he would want to hide it, he’d love a win against his former club.
Predicted Arsenal XI vs Rangers
Arthur Okonkwo made his debut on Tuesday, but things didn’t quite go to plan. It was very clear that the teenager was nervous and that’s normal considering that it was his first-ever game for the senior side. We expect him to be given another chance on Saturday and hopefully, he can silence his doubters.
Hector Bellerin is expected to replace Cedric at right-back, while Omar Rekik, who looked really impressive in the second-half against Hibs, deserves a chance from the start against the Gers.
Gabriel Magalhaes’ injury means Pablo Mari will likely start again at left centre-half. The Spaniard’s experience will be key to guide someone like Rekik, who is very new to games at the top level.
At left-back, we expect Nuno Tavares to make his Arsenal debut. The 21-year-old joined us from Benfica last week and he is hugely talented. His pace is electric and fans simply can’t wait to see him in action.
In midfield, Thomas Partey is set to start after coming off the bench on Tuesday. The Ghanaian looked sharp and came really close to breaking his Arsenal duck, but his stunning free-kick rattled the crossbar. Hopefully, he can change that on Saturday.
Young Jack Henry-Francis impressed everyone with his cameo against the Hibs. He’s still only 17 years old, but he looked really assured on the ball, and we want to see more of him against a tough Rangers side this weekend.
Our front four will likely be a strong one. Nicolas Pepe on the right, Folarin Balogun on the left, Emile Smith Rowe in the number 10 role and Alexandre Lacazette leading the line in what will be a really interesting game.
Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and possibly Kieran Tierney are all expected to be on the bench.
Here’s how we think Arsenal will line up on Saturday…