Arsenal’s preparations for the return of competitive club football will ramp up in the coming weeks, as the Gunners, along with several other European clubs, take part in friendly matches at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, UAE. They’ll take on French side Lyon in the first of these games, before facing AC Milan five days later.
The Gunners are the team to beat in the Premier League so far, leading the way by five points over the World Cup break. Mikel Arteta’s side’s closest challengers are Manchester City after 14 games played, and this month-long mid-season break will hopefully give Arsenal the best possible preparation to successfully see out a title charge in the remaining 24.
Arsenal’s first game back comes against West Ham on Boxing Day, where they’ll look to add to their healthy lead at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners have topped the league at Christmas five times previous, failing to eventually win the title in all five of those. A good start to the resumption is exactly what Arteta and his side need in order to make it sixth time lucky, and these friendlies could end up playing a significant part in their preparation to do so.
Lyon will be no easy-beats though, with the French side no strangers to an upset, particularly over English sides. Whilst this is of course an uncompetitive match, Lyon famously dumped current Premier League champions Manchester City out of the Champions League two seasons ago, and have the bulk of their squad available for this game, with only Nicolas Tagliafico and Karl Toro Ekambi away on World Cup duty.
Sporting News is following the match live and providing live score updates, commentary.
Arsenal vs. Lyon live score
Arsenal vs. Lyon live updates, highlights from mid-season friendly
90 mins from kickoff: Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this friendly match from the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, UAE. Premier League leaders Arsenal face Ligue 1’s Lyon, as both sides step up their preparations for the return of football after the World Cup.
🎟️ Get your match pass as we take on Lyon in Dubai Super Cup 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 7, 2022
Arsenal vs. Lyon lineups
Arsenal’s squad saw 10 of its players leave to play in the Qatar World Cup, the fifth-most of any Premier League club, with half of the Gunners’ contestants still in with a chance of playing at least once more for each of their respective countries. Ghana, USA, and Japan’s eliminations mean Thomas Partey, Matt Turner and Takehiro Tomiyasu will all be returning to north London, while Ben White withdrew from the England squad for personal reasons, and is back in the capital already.
Gabriel Jesus, one of the Gunners’ key men so far this season, unfortunately picked up an injury playing for Brazil, and has had to return home with an expected lay-off period of up to three months. This means that Arsenal may need to look for alternatives in the upcoming January transfer window, but these friendlies will give attacking players such as Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson a chance to step up in the Brazilian’s absence.
Arsenal predicted lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 31. Karl Hein — 17. Cedric Soares, 6. Gabriel Magalhaes, 16. Rob Holding, 3. Kieran Tierney — 25. Mohamed Elneny, 23. Albert Sambi Lokonga — 24. Reiss Nelson, 21. Fabio Vieira, 10. Emile Smith Rowe — 14. Eddie Nketiah.
Arsenal subs: To be confirmed
Given the situation of players returning from World Cup duty and it being a mid-season friendly, predicting the teams for this one isn’t the easiest task. The Sporting News looks at how Lyon lineup with the players at their disposal, with Les Gones’ squad likely to include former Arsenal frontman Alexandre Lacazette.
Lyon predicted lineup (4-1-2-1-2, right to left): 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.
Lyon subs: To be confirmed
How to watch Arsenal vs. Lyon
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This match is not being shown on any UK TV channels but is available to stream via Arsenal’s club website, Arsenal.com. A live feed of the match can be purchased from this website, which is pay-per-view, and accessible on the Arsenal app or website.