Liverpool and Arsenal will both feature in the newly formed Dubai Super Cup next month, with both clubs limbering up for the return of the Premier League after the World Cup.
Dubai will host the Premier League duo as well as Italian giants AC Milan and Ligue 1’s Lyon for a four-team tournament between December 8 and 16, with the Reds and the Gunners both playing Milan and Lyon but not playing each other.
Arsenal will get the tournament started when they take on Lyon on December 8, with Liverpool then playing the French giants three days later.
The Gunners then face Milan on December 13, with Liverpool then playing the current Italian champions three days after that.
All four matches will be held at Dubai’s 15,000 Al-Maktoum Stadium, with teams awarded three points for a win and two for a draw.
Regardless of the scoreline in the match penalties will then be taken after each game, with an additional point awarded to the winner and added to the league table, which will determine the winners of the tournament after all four games.
While winning the trophy will be of secondary importance to both Liverpool and Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta are sure to want to use the time to get their squads into shape ahead of the return of the domestic and European football calendar after the World Cup final on December 18.
“We have seven at the World Cup, not a massive number, but important players,” said Klopp before Saturday’s home clash with Southampton.
“We have clear rules with international games: the boys have to text me if there are any issues. We need the players to tell us and that’s the contact we’ll have definitely. We’re in Dubai around the corner.”
The German will also hope to use the time to improve the fitness of some of Liverpool’s injured players, with Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Luis Diaz all closing in on returns, with the latter still nursing the knee injury he picked up in the 3-2 loss at Arsenal last month.
Arsenal boss Arteta is likely to have not wanted the Premier League season to halt as the Gunners sit five points clear at the top, and he’ll be hoping that the 10 Arsenal players out in Qatar all avoid injury over the next month.
Both the Gunners and Liverpool are set to benefit from the luxurious training facilities on offer in Dubai, and the Spaniard is looking forward to going.“It’s an easy trip as one of the biggest sponsors we have in Emirates is part of it, plus we’ve been there and know the facilities and it’s a really good environment to work.,” he told the Gunners website.
“The weather is spectacular and then the World Cup is so close, so for any player that is around there, it is so easy to get them back straight away. I think it ticks all the boxes that we need.
“We need good preparation mentally and physically to be ready for the huge demands that the second part of the season is going to bring to the team.
“We have two great games against Lyon and Milan and we are really looking forward to it. They’re two big clubs and it’ll be tough competition, and for us, it’s a great test to see where we are.”