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Jul 20, 2019 at 11pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
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Preview: Arsenal vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Arsenal head into the third match of their US tour looking to maintain their 100% record after victories over Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich.

Fiorentina take on the Gunners having registered a 2-1 triumph over Mexican outfit Guadalajara in Illinois on Wednesday.


Arsenal manager Unai Emery pictured on May 12, 2019© Reuters

Doubts remain over whether Arsenal can regain a spot in the Premier League top four during the upcoming campaign, with much-needed new signings still yet to arrive at the Emirates Stadium.

Nevertheless, Unai Emery will be pleased with how his side have fared so far during pre-season, with their latest fixture ending in a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.

Despite beginning the game with a strong starting lineup, it was Arsenal's youngsters who impressed as Eddie Nketiah netted the decisive goal shortly after being introduced as a substitute.

The academy graduate's contribution was one of several notable outings from the club's prospects, which only acted as a further reminder to Emery that he has the option to promote talent from within rather than focusing on bringing in fresh faces.

However, supporters are still far from happy with the performances of their established stars, specifically Shkodran Mustafi who must take some of the blame for the goal which Arsenal conceded against Bayern.

Mesut Ozil did enough on Wednesday to suggest that he still has a role to play in this side, although there will remain constant question marks unless he consistently produces effective displays in the final third.

Reiss Nelson is yet to be provided with enough game time to impress his boss, but the England Under-21 international will naturally be in Emery's thoughts as a result of Henrikh Mkhitaryan failing to make an impact against Bayern.

Whether that is still the case when Arsenal face Newcastle United on August 11 remains to be seen, however, leaving the winger under pressure to showcase his ability this weekend.

Recent form: DWW


Nikola Milenkovic in action for Fiorentina on September 15, 2018© Reuters

Fiorentina endured one of the worst years in their recent history last season, finishing in 16th position and just three points above the Serie A relegation zone.

However, a total of 17 draws and ending the campaign just three points off 10th spot means that a certain level of perspective will come with that disappointment.

The biggest task for Vincenzo Montella is keeping hold of his star men at a time when the likes of Nikola Milenkovic, Jordan Veretout and Federico Chiesa are all being linked with moves to bigger clubs.

Retaining the services of all three throughout the duration of the current transfer window would arguably come as a surprise, although one or two additions of their own may convince the trio that there is still ambition to regain their place in Europe.

None of those players got on the pitch against Guadalajara, however, and that should leave Montella with some optimism ahead of the remainder of pre-season.

Fiorentina ended last season without a win in as many as 16 matches, while they also failed to score in their last five outings in Italy's top flight.

Given the quality in their attack, it was a desperately dismal return, which will leave Montella aware of the task that he has on his hands going forward.

Nevertheless, there were plenty of positives to take from coming from behind to see off Guadalajara, and the Viola boss will hope that his players can build on that when stepping up several levels on Saturday.

Recent form: W

Team News

Reiss Nelson in action for Arsenal in pre-season on July 26, 2018© Reuters

Nelson is almost guaranteed to start on Saturday as a result of not being named in the first XI in the club's previous two fixtures.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sokratis Papastathopoulos both played 90 minutes against Bayern, meaning that they could drop out of the team for this contest.

Mkhitaryan may be given an outing in the number 10 role, while Nketiah will expect to feature ahead of Alexandre Lacazette, who came through 81 minutes in the last game.

Milenkovic, Vitor Hugo, Cristiano Biraghi and Chiesa will all likely start against Arsenal having been given no minutes against Guadalajara.

There may also be a change between the sticks with Pietro Terracciano replacing Bartlomiej Dragowski.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Jenkinson, Chambers, Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Willock; Nelson, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang; Nketiah

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Terracciano; Venuti, Hugo, Milenkovic, Biraghi; Castrovilli, Cristoforo, Eysseric; Chiesa, Simeone, Benassi

Head To Head

These two sides have only ever met twice in competitive encounters, both of which came in the Champions League group stages in 1999.

A goalless draw was played out in Italy, before Gabriel Batistuta gave Fiorentina a 1-0 success at Wembley Stadium.

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We say: Arsenal 3-1 Fiorentina

Emery will be toying with the idea of throwing in some of the club's younger players for their latest fixture, but we do not expect any selection issues to get in the away of another win. Fiorentina did well to beat Guadalajara earlier this week, although they are still behind their next opponents in terms of fitness.

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Who will win Saturday's pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Fiorentina?

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