The wave of high-profile European clubs touring Australia continues with English Premier League title candidates Arsenal set to play two games in Australia.
For the first time in 40 years, Arsenal will make the long trip to Australia to play friendly games against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, likely at ANZ Stadium in July 2017.
The pre-season matches for all three clubs will be among the highest profile games to be played in Australia in recent years, given the popularity of the north London club and their reluctance to make long trips for international friendlies.
They broke the ice with a tour of Vietnam in 2013 and are now set to make the longer flight to Sydney where Australian fans will have a glimpse of coach Arsene Wenger in pre-season mode, building up for the 2017-18 English Premier League campaign.
Australians will be given a chance to watch the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud and Petr Cech in action when the Gunners play games against the A-League sides.
More than 150,000 supporters could walk through the turnstiles to gain the first glimpse of Arsenal Down Under since 1977, when they beat the Socceroos 3-1.
The two games are set to be officially announced later this week to continue the recent blockbuster friendlies played by international football giants in this country. Already this year, Sydney has hosted two friendlies against Chelsea and Tottenham, while Liverpool, Real Madrid, AS Roma and Manchester City played exhibition games around the country.
Despite the games with Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers being more than a year away, both parties and the NSW Government are understood to be eager to lock in the series early given the popularity of Australia as a destination for touring clubs.
Arsenal’s tour will also be the first time Western Sydney Wanderers have hosted a high-profile foreign club in a home friendly game.