Fresh from the 10-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, where they lost 5-1 in the first leg at the Allianz Arena and 1-5 in the return leg at the Emirates Stadium, in their round-of-16 Champions League tie, Arsenal have announced that they will once again face the German giants during their pre-season tour to China in the summer.
This will be Arsenal’s third visit to China, where they had faced Manchester City in 2012 and Hangzhou Greentown in 2011. This time, the London-based club will face Bayern Munich in Shanghai on July 19, 2017. For Bayern, this will be their second visit to China as well. They have toured China in 2012 and in 2015 and will be using the motto “Visiting Friends” during the tour – a bit tacky and shows how desperate the European clubs are to penetrate the Asian market.
Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidas feels that the football fans in China will be thrilled with a fixture of such a big stature. He told Arsenal’s official website, “It will be very special for our Chinese fans to see a game of this stature. We have a fantastic following in China and the two games we are playing there this summer will be an exciting part of our build up for the new season.”
Following their match against Arsenal, Bayern Munich will face AC Milan in Shenzhen on July 22. The match between Bayern Munich and Arsenal will be part of the International Champions Cup, which will also feature Chelsea. Bayern will face Chelsea on July 25, while Arsenal will face their London rivals on July 22 at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing.
Bayern Munich will also face Inter Milan before the end of their tour of Asia. Bayern Munich’s executive board member for internationalization and strategy, Jorge Wacker, believes this tour will “supports our goal to further expand the FC Bayern Munich brand globally,” reported ESPN.
Before setting their foot on the Chinese soil, Arsenal will also travel to Australia for the first part of the pre-season tour where they will face Sydney FC on July 13 and Western Sydney Wanderers on July 15. After their tour of China is over, the Gunners will feature in the annual Emirates Cup, which was canceled last summer due to an extended Euro 2016 and pitch reconstruction works, which will be hosted at the Emirates Stadium during the weekend of July 29 and July 30.
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