Arsene Wenger’s charges will travel to Australia and China before returning to London to host the annual Emirates Cup tournament on home turf
Arsenal will take a long trip east to Australia and China this summer as part of their preparations for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The Gunners will play in front of big crowds during a tour of just under two weeks as they give supporters from further afield the chance to watch their heroes in the flesh.
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Unlike some of their rivals who will spend more than half a month travelling, however, Arsenal will spend the bulk of their pre-season at home in London, with the Emirates Cup closing out their schedule of friendlies as things stand.
This is your complete guide to the fixtures awaiting Arsenal over the coming months before they return to competitive action.
ARSENAL PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Date||Opponent||Time (local / BST)||Venue|
|Jul 13||Sydney FC||TBC||ANZ Stadium, Sydney|
|Jul 17||Western Sydney Wanderers||20:00 / 11:00||ANZ Stadium, Sydney|
|Jul 19||Bayern Munich||20:05 / 13:05||Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai|
|Jul 22||Chelsea||19:40 / 12:40||Bird’s Nest, Beijing|
|Jul 29||Benfica||16:20||Emirates Stadium, London|
|Jul 30||Sevilla||16:20||Emirates Stadium, London|
After a week or two of training Australia will be the first stop for Arsenal, where they will play two friendlies in Sydney against local A-League sides Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. Both will take place at the ANZ Stadium, which has a capacity of 83,500 and was the main venue for the Olympic Games in 2000.
From there the Gunners will take a 10-hour flight to Shanghai, China, for a meeting with Bayern Munich at Shanghai Stadium. That match is part of the Chinese section of the International Champions Cup, but given it is the only ICC match Arsenal play it does not appear there will be any tournament or league table like in the United States.
Another flight a couple of hours further north to Beijing follows after that, with an FA Cup final rematch between Arsenal and Chelsea scheduled for July 22. That will be played at the Bird’s Nest – or Beijing National Stadium – venue that hosted the Olympics in 2008.
And that is it as far as Arsenal’s trips abroad go. They will be back in London in plenty of time for the Emirates Cup and will take the opportunity to get in another couple of weeks of solid training around that tournament, which takes place across one weekend.
The Gunners will split their squad in half for the doubleheader against Benfica and Sevilla on back-to-back days, with RB Leipzig also invited but not taking on Arsenal.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
As FA Cup winners, Arsenal will meet Premier League champions Chelsea in the Community Shield. A date for that match has not officially been announced but it is almost certain to fall on August 6, the first Sunday of the month.
It had been speculated that the Gunners could arrange another friendly after the Emirates Cup depending on the European qualifiers they faced, but that will probably now not be needed.
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The Community Shield will instead lead them into the start of the Premier League campaign, which will kick off on Saturday, August 12. As one of the division’s bigger clubs, the Gunners could be handed a televised date on Sunday or Monday.