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Strong Arsenal side expected for Dublin clash against Chelsea


By Steve Simpson

Arsenal and Chelsea meet in their final International Champions Cup pre-season friendly in Dublin tonight as both new managers finalise plans for the upcoming campaign.

New Arsenal boss Unai Emery oversaw an impressive 5-1 victory over PSG in their last encounter.

There were encouraging signs as the Gunners built towards their Premier League opener against Manchester City on August 12.

Maurizio Sarri has his first major test as Chelsea boss on Sunday in the Community Shield and will be using this clash to help get his players more accustomed to his highly energetic style of play.

Arsenal are likely to name a strong side at the Aviva (8.05pm) with new signings Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi all involved but Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira are yet to join up after the World Cup.

Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Gary Cahill, Michy Batshuayi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Thibaut Courtois are all unavailable for Chelsea due to their World Cup exploits.

Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe, meanwhile, is targeting Premier League football after signing a new long-term deal at the Emirates.

The 18-year-old midfielder has been one of the highlights of pre-season for the Gunners.

He said: "This season I'm hoping to play for the Under-23s. But my main target is to progress, play well and impress the boss so I can maybe get chances in the Premier League one day.

"The new head coach really inspires me so hopefully I get chances to prove how good I am."

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