MX23RW : Wednesday, August 21 10:13:58| >> :600:1721589:1721589:
Jul 24, 2019 at 12am UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 52,826
Real Madrid
Bale (56'), Asensio (59')
Nacho (9')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Lacazette (10' pen.), Aubameyang (24')
Sokratis (40')
Real Madrid win 3-2 on penalties

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the International Champions Cup clash between Real Madrid and Arsenal, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich last time out when they face Arsenal in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday night.

Madrid opened their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign with a defeat to the German champions, but Arsenal have overcome Colorado Rapids, Bayern and Fiorentina in their three friendly games this summer.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard in action with Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso in the International Champions Cup on July 20, 2019© Reuters

There is no question that it is performances and fitness rather than results that matter most at this stage of pre-season, and Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane will have been encouraged by aspects of his team's display against Bayern on Saturday night despite a disappointing final result.

Los Blancos were actually the better team in the first 45 minutes before Zidane decided to change his entire XI at the break. Bayern were already leading 1-0 at the interval and then quick-fire goals from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry effectively secured the win.

Summer arrival Rodrygo Goes came up with a stunning late free kick for the Spanish giants, though, in a match which also saw Eden Hazard, Takefusa Kubo, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy make their debuts. There was no Gareth Bale, though, with Zidane revealing after the match that the Wales international is nearing a summer exit.

Zidane's treatment of Bale is certainly controversial, but the Frenchman is seemingly determined to make big changes this summer to ensure that Madrid are competitive next season. It is just over two months since Los Blancos ended their 2018-19 La Liga campaign with a 2-0 home defeat to Real Betis. The loss was the club's 12th in the league and left them 19 points behind champions Barcelona.

It seems incredible to think that Madrid have won La Liga just once since 2012. The team's recent European success has certainly papered over some of the cracks at domestic level, but Zidane will be determined to lead a title challenge next season. The signing of Hazard was a big one, but the likes of Rodrygo, Mendy and Jovic have also all improved a squad which was in need of a serious revamp.

One game on, Zidane's focus will start to shift from purely fitness to shaping his team for the new campaign. After facing Arsenal, Los Blancos will take on bitter rivals Atletico Madrid on July 27. The team will then face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals of the Audi Cup on July 30 ahead of either a final or third-placed playoff against Bayern or Fenerbahce.

With no Spanish Super Cup or UEFA Super Cup to play, Madrid have a quiet start to August ahead of their La Liga opener away to Celta Vigo on August 17. There is every chance that a number of players could have been moved on by then, while a potential swoop for Manchester United's Paul Pogba is still said to be on the agenda.

Indeed, Zidane said in his post-Bayern press conference that "something could happen" regarding another incoming and bringing the France international to the Bernabeu would certainly give Madrid a team capable of challenging for all of the major honours next season.

Recent form: DLWLLL


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

It would probably be fair to say that Arsenal fans were not expecting too much from this summer's transfer window. Indeed, having failed to qualify for next season's Champions League, it has been widely reported that the Gunners have a limited transfer budget to work with ahead of the new campaign.

As it stands, 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli is the club's only incoming this summer, with the winger arriving from Brazilian side Ituano. Wilfried Zaha continues to be linked with a move from Crystal Palace, but it remains to be seen whether Arsenal can agree a fee with the Eagles, who are under no pressure to sell.

It is difficult to imagine the Gunners making progress next season with the same squad, particularly when considering that more experience could leave in the shape of Laurent Koscielny. A deal for Saint-Etienne's William Saliba is believed to be close, although the teenager will reportedly remain on loan with the Greens.

Arsenal have enjoyed a strong start to their pre-season preparations, though, opening with a 3-0 victory against Colorado Rapids before back-to-back wins over Bayern and Fiorentina. Eddie Nketiah has made the strongest impression on tour, netting against Bayern before striking a double in the 3-0 success over Fiorentina.

Nketiah, who is just 20 years of age, scored once in nine first-team appearances for the Gunners last season and will certainly be looking for more action in the coming campaign. Much like Mason Greenwood at Manchester United, Arsenal do appear to have a young talent capable of contributing in a big way.

In terms of what is ahead, Emery's side will face Lyon and Angers in their next two pre-season matches, before ending their preparations for the new campaign against Barca on August 4. The London club open their 2019-20 Premier League season away to Newcastle United on August 11, which will be a huge test despite the Magpies having a fairly turbulent summer thus far.

A tough start to the new campaign also sees Emery's side face Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur before the September international break. If the club do not enjoy a strong end to the transfer market and suffer some poor results early on then the supporters could well create a toxic atmosphere.

Arsenal are ahead of Madrid when it comes to their preparations and a win over the Spanish giants would certainly boost confidence at the Emirates Stadium. Los Blancos will be keen to bounce back from their loss to Bayern, though, and it will be a tough examination for the English side in Maryland.

Recent form: WWLWWW

Team News

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema in action with Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich in the International Champions Cup on July 20, 2019© Reuters

It seems likely that Zidane will go with the bulk of the team that started against Bayern, meaning that Hazard should make his second appearance for the club off the left.

Mendy, Nacho and Vinicius Junior are three players who could come into the starting XI, but Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos should keep their spots for the European giants.

Casemiro is still absent following his exertions for Brazil at the Copa America and the 27-year-old's unavailability has left Madrid short of options when it comes to the position alongside Kroos and Modric.

Kubo was another debutant to impress off the bench against Bayern and the 18-year-old will hope to be given the chance to make his mark once again.

As for Arsenal, Emery is expected to ring the changes from the clash with Fiorentina, meaning that the likes of Bernd Leno, Alexandre Lacazette, Sokratis, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should all come in.

There is also a possibility that both Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could come into the starting side, with Nketiah given a rest from the start despite his impressive form this summer.

Emery has handed a number of young players opportunities to impress ahead of the new season, but the Spaniard will start to switch his focus to Arsenal's Premier League opener as it draws ever nearer.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Monreal, Sokratis, Mustafi; Kolasinac, Xhaka, Willock, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil

Head To Head

The last time that these two teams locked horns was in the 2005-06 Champions League, with Arsenal recording a 1-0 aggregate victory to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Indeed, a Thierry Henry strike at the Bernabeu proved to be enough for the Gunners to make the last eight after a goalless draw in the second leg at Highbury.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Arsenal

Madrid were unfortunate to lose to Bayern when considering their first-half performance. Arsenal are ahead of Los Blancos when it comes to their preparations, but we fancy Zidane's side to triumph at the FedEx Field.

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Who will win the pre-season clash between Real Madrid and Arsenal?

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