Arsenal, as the Gunners play friendly matches at Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium alongside several other European clubs. The first of these games will be against Olympique Lyonnais of France, followed by a five-day match against AC Milan.
So far, the Gunners have been the team to beat in the Premier League, leading by five points during the World Cup break. After 14 games, Mikel Arteta’s team’s closest rivals are Manchester City, and this month-long mid-season break should provide Arsenal with the best possible preparation to successfully defend their title in the remaining 24.
Arsenal’s first game back is on Boxing Day against West Ham, where they will look to extend their comfortable lead at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners have previously led the league at Christmas five times, but have failed to win the title in all five of those instances. A strong start to the season is exactly what Arteta and his team require to make it sixth time lucky, and these friendlies could play a significant role in their preparation.
Lyon, on the other hand, will not be taken lightly, with the French side no stranger to an upset, particularly over English teams. While this is an uncompetitive match, Lyon famously knocked current Premier League champions Manchester City out of the competition.
When is Arsenal vs. Lyon?
On Thursday, December 8, Arsenal will face Lyon at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The game begins at 3.30 p.m. GMT. UK USA Canada Australia
Thursday, December 8th Thursday, December 8th
Thursday, December 8; Friday, December 9
15:30 GMT, 10:30 ET, 02:30 AEDT
Live stream Arsenal vs. Lyon, TV channel
This match will not be broadcast on any UK television channels, but it will be streamed live on Arsenal’s club website.
Who is available for Arsenal?
Arsenal’s squad lost ten players to the Qatar World Cup, the fifth-highest number of any Premier League club, with half of the Gunners’ contestants still in contention to play for their respective countries at least once more. With the elimination of Ghana, the United States, and Japan, Thomas Partey, Matt Turner, and Takehiro Tomiyasu will all return to north London, while Ben White withdrew from the England squad for personal reasons and has already returned to the capital.
Gabriel Jesus, one of Arsenal’s key players so far this season, was injured while playing for Brazil and has had to return home, with a three-month layoff expected.
Lineups for Arsenal vs. Lyon
Predicting the teams for this one is difficult given the situation of players returning from World Cup duty and it being a mid-season friendly. The Sporting News looks at how both managers might line up with the players they have available, with Lyon’s squad likely to include former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.
1. Anthony Lopes — 27. Malo Gusto, 17. Jerome Boateng, 4. Castello Lukeba, 12. Henrique — 23. Thiago Mendes — 6. Maxence Caqueret, 24. Johann Lepenant — 8. Houssem Aouar — 9. Moussa Dembele, 10. Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal’s predicted lineup (4-2-3-1):
31. Karl Hein — 17. Cedric Soares Gabriel Magalhaes, No. 6 Rob Holding, 16 Mohamed Elneny, 25. Kieran Tierney Albert Sambi Lokonga, 23.