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Arsenal confirm first 2 friendlies of World Cup break

Arsenal confirm first 2 friendlies of World Cup break

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Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (2L) stands with his coaching team during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 31, 2022. - (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (2L) stands with his coaching team during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 31, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal have finally provided official confirmation of their planned friendly matches in Dubai over the World Cup break. The Gunners will face Lyon on December 8th at 19:30 local time, followed by AC Milan on December 13th at 18:00.

Both matches will be played at the Al Maktoum Stadium, and Arsenal write that more information regarding the streaming of the matches will be released in due course.

Arsenal also add that further information will be released about an additional fixture at the Emirates Stadium, but they confirm no further details about that game.

Based on prior reports, Barcelona and Arsenal are in talks to play a friendly on December 17th at the Emirates, though nothing is finalised there yet. If it goes ahead, that game would also be open to supporters.

In addition to the friendlies listed above, Arsenal will also play a friendly against Watford behind closed doors in the week commencing November 28th, and there’s unconfirmed talk of a fifth friendly the week after the Barcelona game.

Assuming they go ahead, neither of those matches would be open to the public. But it seems fans will be able to attend or stream the Lyon, Milan, and Barcelona fixtures.

“We’re looking forward to spending time together on the training pitch in a warmer climate,” Arteta said. “It’ll be a nice change of environment and a great opportunity for us to work hard and prepare for the second half of the season.

“Dubai is a fantastic place and the football facilities there are first-class. The Dubai Super Cup also gives us the opportunity to test ourselves against two strong sides in Lyon and AC Milan – it’ll be a great experience for the squad.”

The Al Maktoum Stadium (Photo via Dubai Super Cup)
The Al Maktoum Stadium (Photo via Dubai Super Cup)

Arsenal’s potential World Cup schedule (times in GMT)

  • November 13th-December 3rd – Approximately 10 days off, followed by training in London
  • W/C November 28th – Arsenal vs Watford (London Colney)
  • December 4th – Travel to Dubai for a warm-weather camp
  • December 8th, 15:30 – Arsenal vs Lyon (Al Maktoum Stadium)
  • December 13th, 14:00 – Arsenal vs Milan (Al Maktoum Stadium)
  • December 14th – Travel back to London
  • December 17th – Arsenal vs Barcelona (Emirates Stadium)
  • W/C December 19th – Rumoured 5th friendly (London Colney)
  • December 26th – The Premier League returns

As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to Amnesty International.

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