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Great Britain

rsenal prepare for Europa League final against Chelsea with friendly this week with Austrian minnows LASK Linz

ARSENAL have given themselves a Europa League boost - by organising a pre-final workout against top Austrian side LASK Linz.

Unai Emery's men are due to face Chelsea in Baku on Wednesday week.

Gunners officials have now taken steps to ensure the players are fully match sharp by fixing up a hush-hush friendly against Linz.

The game will take place behind closed doors at Arsenal's London Colney training base on Thursday.

Reports in Austria claim the Premier League club has chartered a plane to fly Linz's squad over.

News of the fixture emerged following LASK's 1-0 win at St Polten on Sunday.

Oliver Glasner's side lies second in the Bundesliga, behind only serial champions Salzburg, near the end of an impressive campaign.

They host Austria Vienna in their final league fixture on May 26.

Former Middlesbrough and West Ham defender Emanuel Pogatetz, 36, now plays for Linz.

The city's chief claim to fame is its Linzer Torte cake, a Christmas treat made with hazelnuts, jam, flour, lemon and cinnamon.

Arsenal have longstanding links with Austrian football, and have repeatedly held pre-season training camps in the central European nation.

Former Austria international keeper Alex Manninger played for the Gunners between 1997 and 2002.

We revealed last week that Liverpool suffered a blow in their attempt to arrange a friendly before their Champions League final clash with Tottenham.

Dutch club AZ Alkmaar snubbed the Reds' offer of a game, with most of their players away on holiday or international duty.

Yannick Carrasco gives Arsenal huge transfer hint by admitting he wants to leave China and move back to Europe
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