GOOD AFTERNOON FROM EASTER ROAD
WELCOME to our live coverage of this Tuesday evening friendly clash between Hibernian and Arsenal in the Gunners’ first pre-season game of the upcoming 2021/22 campaign.
Jack Ross guided Hibs to a superb third-placed finish in the SPL last season, their highest league position for 16 years, as well as suffering an agonising 1-0 defeat to St. Johnstone 1-0 in the Scottish Cup Final.
They kicked off their pre-season campaign against with a 1-0 to Accrington Stanley last week, followed by a 1-1 draw with Stoke City, but that by no means suggests that this will be a walk in the park for Mikel Arteta’s side.
The Edinburgh outfit notched up an impressive 18 wins last season to book their place in the Europa Conference League’s second qualifying round, their first taste of European football since the 2018/19 season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, kick-off their Premier League campaign in exactly one month, facing the newly-promoted Brentford in what looks to be a suitably exciting all-London clash to kick-off the new Premier League season.
Fans will hope for a glimpse of new signing Nuno Tavares in an Arsenal shirt this evening, having sealed his £6.8m move to North London from Benfica over the weekend.
The Gunners also appear on the brink of confirming the signing of Belgian midfielder Albert Lokonga from Anderlecht, whilst also advancing in talks with Brighton for England defender Ben White.
Hector Bellerin has returned to training and is with the squad, but is touted as likely to leave the Emirates this summer, with interest coming most notably from Inter Milan, who are seeking to replace Achraf Hakimi.
The Gunners will also be without England hero Bukayo Saka, after the 19-year-old played in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday and bravely stepped up to take the deciding spot-kick for The Three Lions against Italy.
After a disappointing campaign in which the Gunners finished 8th and failed to qualify for a Europe for the first time since 1994/95, Mikel Arteta will hope his side can set the tone for a much improved campaign this evening.
We’re expecting team news shortly and will bring it to you as soon as we have it, so stay with us and we’ll keep you updated. Kick-off is at 6pm.
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