A good, solid workout that will help the players get ever closer to full match fitness is what Arsene Wenger will be after when Arsenal play the MLS All-Stars at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose on Thursday. While a win will be desirable, considering the strength of the All-Stars team and the confidence that can be gained by a positive result, what Arsenal will want the most is a proper contest, just to help them get back into their groove.
This will be Arsenal's second preseason match of the season, after a 1-1 draw at Lens last week, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring a wonderful equalizer late on. In that match, the Arsenal players look quite rusty against a side preparing for the start of their season this week, and Wenger will hope some of that rust is shaken off when the MLS All-Stars, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Sebastian Giovinco, David Villa, Kaka and Andrea Pirlo in tow, come calling in front of a sellout crowd in California.
"I'm very excited about the game," Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere told the club's official website. "These are players I looked up to when I was growing up – the likes of Pirlo and Kaka.
"My generation looked up to them. They have been at the top of their game for more than ten years and it will be nice to play against them."
Pirlo and Kaka might be well past their peaks, but a competitive match is expected when Arsenal and the MLS All-Stars take to the field on Thursday. One of the players who will be front and centre as far as the ok-let's-take-a-look-at-him plan is concerned is Grant Xhaka, Arsenal's biggest signing of the summer transfer window so far.
Xhaka comes with a burgeoning reputation from Borussia Monchengladbach, and after some impressive performances for Switzerland in Euro 2016 – not counting that missed penalty in the last 16, of course – there will be a lot expected from the 23-year-old.
"I've played against him a few times at youth level for England and also for the first team with England, so I know him quite well," Wilshere, who shares the same birth year with Xhaka, said about his new teammate. "I've always thought he was a good player, he's very strong and has got a good left foot.
"He's a leader, he can hold the midfield together and can get things going from back to front. He's a good signing."
A midfield of Wilshere, Xhaka and Santi Cazorla might seem perfect and possibly the best way to help this sometimes goalshy Arsenal lineup from finding the back of the net regularly, starting with this match against the MLS All-Stars.
Where to Watch Live
Arsenal vs MLS All-Stars is scheduled for a 4.30 p.m. local time (7.30 p.m. ET, 12.30 a.m. BST, 5 a.m. IST) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: No live coverage.
US: TV: ESPN and Unimas. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: TSN2 abd and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Mexico and Latin America: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: ESPN Play.
Singapore: TV: SuperSports.
China: TV: LeTV.
International (rest of the world, including India): Arsenal Player Online.