How Arsenal will line up for MLS All-Stars clash?

The Gunners will certainly be more focused on the fitness of their players than the game's result as they get ready for the start of the English Premier League season in a few weeks.

Games against the MLS All-Stars are usually very entertaining and battling, and Arsenal forward Walcott is anticipating a similar encounter on Thursday night. -West format, in which the best players from each division or conference of the league competed against each other. Thursday's All-Star Game will be the fifth MLS game this season to feature coaches wearing microphones; in addition, a camera will follow each coach.

I should be excited given that the all-stars are playing my favorite team, Arsenal. Either way you slice it, MLS players love to test their mettle against opponents they don't face on a normal basis.

There is plenty to consider for Wenger, then, as the Frenchman enters the past year of his current contract under enormous pressure to win a first Premier League title since 2004 - or at least make a decent fist of doing so after a series of spluttering attempts to keep pace with the division's front runners. Toronto FC had three players named to the All-Star team previous year, all three of their DPs, but only Jozy Altidore was able to attend as the others were injured. Just this week, Orlando City's Kaká was named the captain for the MLS All-Star team even though he was plagued with injury for the majority of the first half of the season. German giant Bayern Munich visited in 2014 but a year ago the all stars played second-fiddle Tottenham.

That has annoyed Gunners fans, who have watched the club's main rivals all spending big money on signings in the transfer window.

The game takes place at the Avaya Stadium, San Jose, California, as the Gunners improve their fitness before their new campaign kicks off against Liverpool on August 14.

Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Özil are all missing from the tour party after reaching the latter stages of Euro 2016, with the club giving them an extended break to recover. Time will tell on what the league will have to do to make this game exciting and put less stress on its stars, but the question that will always be posed will be: why have the game?

The likes of New York City duo David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, plus stars like Kaka, Didier Drogba and Clint Dempsey will combine to make up the side - but can they continue their excellent winning streak? Chances are Arsene Wenger will play Coquelin in the center back.

  • Rosalie Stanley