The Gunners’ pre-season tournament kicks off with RB Leipzig taking on Sevilla before Arsene Wenger’s men themselves face the Portuguese champions

Arsenal kick off this year’s Emirates Cup with a clash against Benfica on Saturday afternoon.

The pre-season competition is back after taking a year off due to Euro 2016 and pitch renovations at the Emirates Stadium and begins with RB Leipzig taking on Sevilla.

Emirates Cup: The complete guide

Immediately after that, the Gunners face Benfica in the second half of the doubleheader before they take on Sevilla and Benfica face Leipzig the next day.

Game Arsenal vs Benfica
Date Saturday, July 29
Time 16:20 BST

TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM


Olivier Giroud Arsenal

In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on Quest and by stream via TVPlayer. For a full list of Quest channel numbers, check out our complete guide to the Emirates Cup.

UK TV channel Online stream
Quest TVPlayer

In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and by stream on WatchESPN and fuboTV.

US TV channel Online stream
ESPN Deportes (Spanish) WatchESPN / fuboTV

SQUADS & TEAM NEWS


Position Arsenal players
Goalkeepers Ospina, Martinez, Cech
Defenders Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Bramall
Midfielders Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Elneny, Nelson, Willock
Forwards Lacazette, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck

Alexis Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi will only return to pre-season training this weekend, while Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson are with the Under-23 side.

Santi Cazorla, Gabriel and Jack Wilshere are injured.

Potential starting XI: Cech; Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elneny, Coquelin, Kolasinac; Ozil, Giroud, Welbeck.

Position Benfica players
Goalkeepers Cesar, Lopes, Varela
Defenders Lisandro, Grimaldo, Luisao, Kalaica, Eliseu, Pereira, Jardel, Almeida, Hermes, Dias, Buta
Midfielders Fejsa, Augusto, Samaris, Horta, Salvio, Krovinovic, Pizzi, Cervi, Willock, Chrien, Goncalves, Zivkovic, Carrillo, Carvalho, Silva
Forwards Raul, Jonas, Mitroglou, Seferovic

Benfica have a full complement to choose from, with just young striker Cristian Arango left out ahead of a potential loan move.

Chris Willock, who recently left Arsenal for Benfica, could feature against his brother Joe, who remains with the Gunners and has been included in their Emirates Cup squad.

Potential starting XI: Varela; Pereira, Kalaica, Luisao, Grimaldo; Fejsa, Pizzi; Salvio, Jonas, Cervi; Mitroglou.


BETTING & MATCH ODDS


Eduardo Salvio Benfica

Arsenal are 8/15 favourites to win, according to dabblebet, with Benfica priced at 9/2 the draw available at 16/5.

For full Emirates Cup odds, click here to visit dabblebet.


GAME PREVIEW


Arsene Wenger Arsenal

Arsenal are now four matches into their pre-season and the Emirates Cup will offer Arsene Wenger a chance to fine tune his troops before the Community Shield against Chelsea.

You would imagine that every player fit and available for selection will get a chance to log a few more minutes against Benfica and Sevilla, with the Gunners facing top European opponents back-to-back across two days.

All that will remain after the tournament will be to integrate Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez back into the group following their extended breaks – and ease what is likely to be a tense mood around the Chilean’s return.

Wenger insists Alexis has not told him directly that he wants to leave Arsenal this summer, but his statements about wanting to play in the Champions League and apparent meetings with the Paris Saint-Germain hierarchy would seem to paint a clear enough picture.

The French manager has also maintained, however, that there is simply no chance of Alexis being allowed to leave before his contract expires.

That is a bold declaration given many Arsenal fans had probably been coming to terms with the departure of their star man on the condition that a top talent such as Thomas Lemar was brought in to replace him.

Instead – as seems to often be the case in north London these days – Arsenal fans look set to endure an anxious August as the transfer talk heats up and the deadline approaches.