Arsenal set to embark on risky mid-season trip to Dubai

Arsenal have confirmed, via their official website, that they will head to Dubai for a mid-season training camp amid their top-four battle.

The Gunners will travel to the country during the international break and will play a game at the opening of a new stadium.

What’s the word?

Unai Emery’s men, who beat Manchester United at the weekend to move into fourth place in the Premier League, are jetting off to Dubai to face Al-Nasr in a friendly.

The game will mark the opening of the Al Maktoum Stadium, while Arsenal will also take part in a number of public events.

Manager Emery told the club’s official website: “It will be great to get some warm weather training and break up the usual routine as we enter the final stage of the season.

“The facilities in Dubai are fantastic and it will be an honour to be part of the formal opening ceremony for the new stadium.”

The tour comes as the battle for qualification to the Champions League hots up.

Arsenal hold a two-point lead over United and are just one point behind third-placed Tottenham with eight games of the season remaining.

They had better hope, then, that they do not suffer any untimely injuries in Dubai.

A needless distraction

Arsenal are not the only club to head on a sunshine break, with Spurs also taking advantage of the pause in Premier League proceedings to head to Barcelona.

However, it feels as though this could backfire.

Emery clearly believes that this could be a catalyst for another solid run of form but the path is fraught with danger.

If a first-team player picks up an injury, their top-four charge could be derailed. The same, of course, goes for Spurs.

Arsenal would perhaps have been best off staying in north London and enjoying the rest.