When Arsenal plays AC Milan at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Tuesday to close out their Middle Eastern training camp, they will try to make it two wins in a row in the Dubai Super Cup.
The Rossoneri will play Liverpool three days after taking on the Premier League leaders, while the Gunners defeated Lyon 3-0 in the second of their four winter friendlies.
While Mikel Arteta’s second-string players have struggled this season in comparison to Arsenal’s first XI, as evidenced by Watford’s 4-2 victory at London Colney earlier this month, Lyon were outmatched and outclassed last week against a reorganized Gunners XI.
Arsenal won 3-0 on the day thanks to goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Eddie Nketiah, and Fabio Vieira. They added a point to their total in the four-team tournament by winning the penalty shootout 2-1, in large part due to Karl Hein’s four saves from the spot.
Arsenal is already in a good position to win the Dubai Super Cup, but the Premier League trophy remains the big prize for the current leaders, who return to their base after Tuesday’s match and will play Juventus at the Emirates the following weekend.
An Arsenal team that will be five points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table on Christmas Day will make their return to Premier League action on Boxing Day against West Ham United. This will be the first time since the 2007-08 season that they have held that position on December 25.
Arsenal has won five of their last six games in all competitions, both competitive and non-competitive, while maintaining a clean sheet in each victory. Pitting their wits against the current league champion of one of Europe’s top five leagues would be a good indication of their chances of winning the Premier League title.
With three victories and a draw from their four November games, Milan entered the World Cup break in good shape. This allowed them to advance safely to the Champions League’s round of 16 — where Tottenham Hotspur awaits — and kept them just about in the running for a second consecutive Scudetto.
The Rossoneri, who are currently in second place and have a respectable 33 points through their first 15 games of the season, trail Napoli by eight points, but Stefano Pioli has recently been plagued by a number of injuries.
The Rossoneri’s final match before the World Cup ended in a narrow 2-1 victory over Fiorentina, giving them six victories in their last eight competitive games. However, since Serie A is on winter break, the Rossoneri won’t play again until the New Year.
Before playing away at Salernitana in their first Serie A match of 2023 on January 4 and facing Derby della Madonnina rivals Inter Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana on January 18, Milan will test their mettle against Liverpool on December 16 and PSV Eindhoven on December 30.
Arsene Wenger’s team defeated Milan 5-1 on aggregate in the last 16 of the 2017–18 Europa League, and the two teams also drew 1-1 in the 2010 Emirates Cup. The last three meetings between the two teams have all gone in Arsenal’s favor.