By Rob Kelly in Kuala Lumpur
Arsène Wenger admits his side are in for a tough test when they take on a Malaysia XI side in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday night.
Arsenal kick off their 2012 Tour with a clash against the invitational side at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil.
The Gunners beat the same opponents 4-0 last summer, but Wenger expects a tighter affair when the two sides meet this time around.
“It was a tough game [last year], because usually we lack sharpness at the start of our preparations,” he said.
“In Asia you get mobile teams who are very enthusiastic. They have the opportunity to play against players they usually watch on television so they don't make it easy for you.
“They will want to show they have improved from last year.”
Wenger says pre-season matches, wherever they take place in the world, are vital to his squad's preparations for the new campaign.
“For the players who have come in for pre-season some of them have two weeks [of work under their belts], so this is to sharpen them up for competitive games,” he said.
“We go now into the stage where we play football, and this helps us to be sharp again, tactically to get organised and of course to find our fluent game again.
“The key target is to be ready on August 18 - these games help us get ready.”
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Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Jul 2012