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Jul 18, 2019 at 4am UK at Emirates Stadium
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Preview: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Thursday's pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup on Thursday on the back of a 3-0 victory over Colorado Rapids.

The German outfit will be playing their first game of pre-season having recently made the trip to Los Angeles.


Unai Emery leads Arsenal training on May 1, 2019© Reuters

Unai Emery is having to contend with a number of issues away from the pitch right now as a result of a limited transfer budget and the unhappiness of club captain Laurent Koscielny.

That probably left the Spaniard feeling relieved when his side returned to the pitch on Tuesday to register a convincing win over their opponents from the MLS.

Emery took the opportunity to field a young team from kickoff, although his faith was repaid as Bukayo Saka, James Olayinka and Gabriel Martinelli all got on the scoresheet.

The big names will naturally be provided with more action as pre-season progresses, but Emery needed to see how some of the club's starlets performed at a time when they are aware that there are squad places up for grabs.

There have been suggestions that some players will be allowed to leave on permanent or loan deals in order to free up space on the wage bill, and that is something which may materialise with three-and-a-half weeks still remaining until the start of the new campaign.

Nevertheless, Emery got to see that he already has options available to him, including in the form of Gabriel Martinelli, who has recently moved to the North London outfit.

The Brazilian has only recently turned 18 years of age, but the youngster has already made a strong statement when it comes to trying to convince Emery to allow him to play backup to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

That established pair will likely begin the game on Thursday as they look to try to put a run of form together ahead of the club's opening Premier League fixture at Newcastle United on August 11.

Recent form: DW

Bayern Munich

Niko Kovac in charge of Bayern Munich on October 27, 2018© Reuters

Bayern are still someway short of finalising their squad for the new season, but that will not stop Nico Kovac from pushing his players during their time in the United States.

The meeting with the Gunners is one of three games scheduled over the next week, with Real Madrid to follow in Texas later this week before a showdown with AC Milan on July 23.

However, it will be an opportunity for two of the club's new signings - Benjamin Pavard and Jann-Fiete Arp - to show what they can do against top-class opposition.

Pavard - a World Cup winner with France - is already established, although there is a certain amount of pressure on Arp given his exploits at youth level for Germany.

Bayern head into these games without having found replacements for Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben, meaning that Serge Gnabry should get the chance to face his old club.

The winger only made 10 Premier League appearances for Arsenal between 2012 and 2016, but his contribution of 10 goals and five assists from 30 league games last season mean that he is very much in Kovac's plans going forward.

The emergence of the German is a reminder to Arsenal of their past failures, something which Emery may take time to consider when attempting to develop Arsenal's current prospects in the future.

Nevertheless, Bayern do have some first-team players missing at this stage of pre-season, giving some of their own youngsters the chance to make their mark over the coming week.

Recent form:

Team News

Mesut Ozil in action for Arsenal on May 9, 2019© Reuters

Emery is expected to make mass changes to his starting lineup, meaning that the side on Thursday should be full of senior players.

The trio of Mesut Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette only played 12 minutes earlier this week, while the likes of Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nacho Monreal, Reiss Nelson and Granit Xhaka all remained as unused substitutes.

We expect each of those names to feature in Los Angeles, while Shkodran Mustafi could again feature in the absence of Koscielny.

The Bayern team remains somewhat of an unknown, with Kovac having to decide how to manage the fitness levels of his players over a three-match period.

However, many of the major names should feature from the start as the Croatian looks to build some continuity.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Xhaka, Willock; Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kimmich, Pavard, Martinez, Alaba; Tolisso, Thiago; Gnabry, Goretzka, Coman; Lewandowski

Head To Head

These two teams have met on 12 occasions since 2000, with Bayern registering seven victories in comparison to three wins for Arsenal.

Bayern have prevailed by a 5-1 scoreline in each of the last three contests, while Arsenal's last success came via a 2-0 triumph in October 2015.

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We say: Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich

Fitness levels are likely to play a big part at this stage of the season, and that is why we have to back Arsenal for this match. Bayern are capable of battling their way to victory, although Kovac will probably be satisfied with a solid performance from his players.


Who will win Thursday's pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Bayern Munich?

Bayern Munich
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