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Arnhem preview: George Graham

Posted on 11 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

George Graham is keeping his cards close to his chest as he prepares for our final pre-season friendly. Pundits predict that the team the manager selects against Vitesse Arnhem in Holland on Saturday will be the team that starts against Ipswich Town in our Premiership opener at White Hart Lane on August 19.

The boss certainly has a few dilemmas - the goalkeeping position between Neil Sullivan and Ian Walker; Ben Thatcher or Mauricio Taricco at left-back; the central midfield pairing; and which two strikers will play up front. But he insists he will not give away any clues in Holland.

"People can always surmise what they want," he said. "They will just have to wait until the Ipswich game to see actually who plays."

We will have commentary on the website: you may need to download RealPlayer - Click here for live feed from 6.55pm Saturday.

Graham expects a tough time against a Vitesse Arnhem outfit that finished fourth in the Dutch League last season.

He added: "It was very difficult to actually get a game the week prior to the season starting because the lower divisions all start this weekend. The Vitesse Arnhem game came out of the blue and it will be a good test for the boys.

"Again, we're away from home like in all our pre-season games and by and large I think they've been productive. This game will take us to another level again.

"It's a difficult fixture away from home against better-class opposition. It will be a good quality game, a tricky game before the season starts. We'll then do a little training next week to sharpen up for the Ipswich game."