Sports

June 24, 2024

Bayer Leverkusen to face Arsenal in pre-season London friendly

Bayer Leverkusen to face Arsenal in pre-season London friendly

Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen will face Premier League runners-up Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in London on August 7, the German club announced Monday.

The match will be a reunion for several players, along with a meeting between childhood friends and teammates Xabi Alonso and Mikel Arteta, who coach Leverkusen and Arsenal respectively.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka joined Leverkusen before last season after seven years at Arsenal, winning the league and German Cup double.

Arsenal striker Kai Havertz came through the junior system at Leverkusen and moved to Chelsea in 2020, before switching to the Gunners in 2023.

The match will take place at Arsenal Emirates Stadium.

Under Alonso, Leverkusen went unbeaten domestically, winning the Bundesliga for the first time in their history, along with lifting the German Cup.

Leverkusen lost just one of 53 games last season — the Europa League final against Atalanta.

Arsenal pushed Manchester City all the way in the Premier League, finishing two points behind Pep Guardiola’s eventual champions.

The sides have faced off competitively in the Champions League group stage in 2002, with Arsenal winning the second leg in London after a 1-1 draw in Germany.

Arsenal will face Manchester United and Liverpool as part of a summer tour to the United States, while Leverkusen will stay in Europe.