Arsenal vs Benfica
Arsenal looking to get some positive results in the pre-seasonsReuters

Arsenal and Benfica come face to face in the opening fixture of the Emirates Cup as both sides look to assert their dominance ahead of the 2014/15 season.


Following a win in their first pre-season game against Boreham Wood, Arsenal were very disappointing as they suffered a 1-0 loss against MLS side New York Red Bulls in the USA.

Now the Gunners will look to wash off the bad memories of their last game as they focus their attention on the Emirates Cup.

Arsenal, who last lifted the Emirates Cup in the 2009, have not been able to win the pre-season tournament for the last two years, with New York Red Bulls wining it in 2011 and Galatasaray emerging victorious last year.

However, this time, the North London outfits will be hoping to win the pre-season tournament, having finally broken their nine year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup last season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels that this pre-season is a good indicator to see where the Gunners stand and show off the new signings - Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), David Ospina (Nice) and Calum Chambers (Southampton) - to the fans.

"It's always an interesting test for us because for us it's an indicator of where we are in our preparation. It's good to come back to competition and it's good to have two days to see our level. It's also an opportunity for our fans to see the team and the players who we bought," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

The Frenchman believes that these final pre-season fixtures of the Emirates Cup will also help the Gunners prepare ahead of their clashes in the Community Shield and the Champions League qualifiers.

"For me these games are a real test because we are close to the Community Shield and two weeks before the start of the Premier League. Just behind that we have a qualifier as well for the Champions League. So it's a measure of fitness, of tactical preparation and just how far we are away," he added.

Arsenal vs Benfica
Benfica's players celebrate after winning their Portuguese Cup final soccer match against Rio Ave at the National stadium in Lisbon 18 May, 2014.Reuters

Meanwhile, Benfica will certainly be giving some tough competition to the Gunners, having enjoyed an excellent campaign last season.

The Eagles won the double after lifting their 33rd Portuguese league title and emerging victorious in the Taca de Portugal. In addition to that, Benfica also reached the finals of the Europa League (where they were eventually defeated by Sevilla) for a second successive season.

And Wenger showered praises on his opponents ahead of the pre-season clash.

"That shows consistency," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "They fight every year for the title in Portugal where you have Porto and Sporting Lisbon. You have good opponents who have quality and, technically, they are a very skilful team. They are very well known for their youth team work so you can always discover great players in their team."

However, following the departures of many talented players including Ezequiel Garay ( Zenit Saint Petersburg ), Jan Oblak (Atl├ętico Madrid)and Lazar Markovic (Liverpool), the Eagles seem to have lost their momentum, losing four out of six pre-season games so far.

Jorge Jesushopes Benfica will use the Emirates Cup as a spring board ahead of the new season

"We will play against Arsenal and Valencia and want to make this tournament the springboard for the 10th of August to the first end disputarmos with Rio Ave," Jesus told Maisfutebol.

Where to Watch Live:

The match between Arsenal and Benfica is set to kick-off on 2 August at 2:00 pm BST (6:30 pm IST and 9am EDT), and will be telecasted by Star Sports 4 in India. Viewers in UK can see the live action on BT Sport 1, while US viewers can catch the game on beIN Sports 3. The Game can be streamed world wide HERE. IF you are in the UK you can watch the game online HEREand US viewers can stream the live action HERE.