by Lewis Ambrose
As the summer goes on we are getting ever closer to pre-season, and Arsenal have confirmed pre-season dates for a mixed youth team on Arsenal.com.
An ‘Arsenal XI’ consisting of members of the u21 and u18 teams will play their first a number of pre-season games, probably with the majority of the u21 squad but without the likes of Gedion Zelalem or Daniel Crowley who may head to Asia with the first team.
The first pre-season game for the youth side will be away from home against Bristol Rovers on Saturday 18th July.
They will play at Boreham Wood the following Friday (24th) before an Academy team travels to South Africa to compete in the Durban under-19 International tournament beginning on Wednesday 29th July.
The first team currently have very few games scheduled, and it remains to be seen whether or not they will play more than just a handful of matches.
Travelling to Asia, Arsenal face a Singapore Select XI in a Barclays Asia Trophy game on Wednesday 15th July.
This is followed by a game against either Everton or Stoke three days later as the tournament comes to a close.
The following weekend (25th-26th July) sees the return of the Emirates Cup, where Arsenal face Lyon and VfL Wolfsburg (featuring Nicklas Bendtner!) across the two days.
Arsenal play in London again on the 2nd August when we visit Wembley to face Chelsea in the Community Shield before the Premier League finally kicks off again on 8th August.