Jack Wilshere of Arsenal passes the ball during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Glasgow Rangers at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Arsenal's official website has confirmed the opponents for this summer's Emirates Cup, the annual preseason tournament hosted by Arsenal as a final tune-up for the Premier League campaign. Arsenal will kick off against Olympique Lyonnais, Celtic, and AC Milan on July 31 and August 1.
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis remarked:
"The Emirates Cup has been hugely successful since we staged the inaugural tournament back in 2007 and we're again looking forward to staging this weekend of football, which is now recognised as one of the world's most prestigious pre-season tournaments.
"We have three big teams coming this year in AC Milan, Celtic and Lyon, who all have huge international followings and rich histories. I'm sure all supporters are looking forward to the weekend, which not only offers the opportunity to watch two top quality matches each day, but of course, also provides the teams with a high level of preparation ahead of the forthcoming season."
The Emirates Cup has always made for a good weekend's viewing for those who have the Arsenal TV Online subscription; it really gets the blood pumping, particularly in years without the European or World Cup on offer. This year's tournament features three strong opponents, including one Champions League semi-finalist in Lyon. Typically the tournament also features the first extended playing time for many of Arsenal's biggest names. And last year, if you had been watching, you would've seen quite possibly the most improbable of all Arshavin goals (and goodness knows, there have been a few of those; the angle on this goal could not have been more than a fraction of a degree).
How does everyone else feel about these opponents and this Cup?