Petr Cech likely to make Arsenal debut in Singapore

New Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is likely to make his debut for the Gunners in Singapore.
New Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is likely to make his debut for the Gunners in Singapore.PHOTO: EPA

Local Arsenal fans following the Barclays Asia Trophy will likely get the chance to see their new goalkeeper Petr Cech make his debut for the Gunners in Singapore.

The 33-year-old shot-stopper, who has won four English Premier League titles with Chelsea, will supplement the star quality of a strong squad boasting the likes of English midfielder Jack Wilshere, Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla, German schemer Mesut Oezil and French targetman Olivier Giroud, who was the club's second-highest scorer with 14 goals last season.

Cech will compete with fellow custodians Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez for a place in goal, in front of a rearguard that includes regular fixtures in centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and 20-year-old Spanish fullback Hector Bellerin.

However, several notable Arsenal players will give the pre-season trophy a miss.

They include 25-goal forward Alexis Sanchez, Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina and German attacker Serge Gnabry, all of whom have been given extended breaks after their recent international exertions.

England striker Danny Welbeck and Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky will also remain in England to recover from their knee problems.

  • BARCLAYS ASIA TROPHY 2015: ARSENAL

  • Goalkeepers: Petr Cech (photo), Emiliano Martinez, Wojciech Szczesny

    Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal

    Midfielders: Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Dan Crowley, Mathieu Flamini, Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Oezil, Aaron Ramsey, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock, Jack Wilshere, Gedion Zelalem

    Forwards: Chuba Akpom, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott

Some players beset by injury woes of their own last season will be looking to re-establish themselves in the first team with a good pre-season.

French fullback Mathieu Debuchy and England international Theo Walcott - both of whom missed large chunks of last season with major injuries - are included in the squad list for the tournament.

Meanwhile, captain Mikel Arteta will lead his team in their bid to win the trophy in Singapore fresh off signing a new one-year contract extension that was announced by the club on Wednesday.

Long-serving manager Arsene Wenger will also continue the club's tradition of blooding youngsters from their famed academy.

He has included of midfielders Gedion Zelalem, Dan Crowley, Chris Willock as well as forwards Chuba Akpom and their 17-year-old addition from Lens, Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

Arsenal fans can look forward to watching this exciting blend of experience and youth on July 15, when Arsenal take on the Singapore Select XI at the National Stadium at 8.30pm.

The winners of the tie will then face either Stoke or Everton in the Barclays Asia Trophy final on July 18, also at 8.30pm.

•Tickets can be bought at www.sportshubtix.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Cech likely to make Arsenal debut in S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe