The tournament will feature the three top teams from London in a non-competitive setting for a cause, as a curtain-raiser for the upcoming season of the Premier League, and will be hosted across three stadiums in London – namely the Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge, and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Apart from being a way to get the participating teams up to fitness ahead of the season, the series will also be played out for a great cause. Funds raised from the series will be split between mental health charity Mind and the respective club foundations, that each deliver projects to support mental health and well-being in communities both at home and overseas.
However, despite the series being termed as a friendly tournament, the matches will be anything but as they will feature three of the best teams in the capital – pitting the rivals to clash against each other.
Arsenal will kick the series off when they face Chelsea in the first match of the series on August 1 at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners aim to have a significantly better league season than the last one where they finished a measly eighth on the table, and their preparations leading up to it so far has been bittersweet.
Mikel Arteta’s side kicked off proceedings with a tour of Scotland, where they suffered a 2-1 loss to Hibernian, and then followed it up with a 2-2 draw with Rangers. However, a 4-1 win over Millwall in the following outing made sure that the mood in the camp is not too bad – and the North London outfit will look to build on the same scoreline against Watford, having been boosted by the fresh signings of Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga made this summer. And the Gunners faithful could get their first glimpses of Ben White in Arsenal colors, with his arrival imminent.
On the other hand, Chelsea have had a very quiet transfer window in terms of incomings so far. The West London outfit have had a mass exodus of academy youngsters, but their only signing so far has been a free agent in third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
The Blues who finished last season as the champions of Europe still have a lot of their main players on vacation having gone deep in their respective EURO campaigns, which has given a chance for the loan army to try and win Thomas Tuchel over to earn a spot in next season’s squad.
Chelsea have played only twice in pre-season so far – the first one of them being a 6-1 win over Peterborough United in a friendly behind closed doors, and the second one being their recent 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
The second match of the series will feature the Blues against Tottenham Hotspur on August 4 at Stamford Bridge. While the match will be preceded by the Champions League trophy being displayed in front of a full capacity crowd for the first time, it will also mark the first time that Spurs will face top-flight opposition under their new head coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
Spurs will want to regain their Champions League status after a season that saw them finish a lowly seventh in the league. Their search for silverware goes on, and after José Mourinho was sacked three days before the League Cup final – a Ryan Mason interim spell was followed by Santo’s appointment. The North London outfit have played three matches in their pre-season campaign so far – a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient was followed by a 3-0 win over Colchester United and a 3-1 win over MK Dons.
While captain Harry Kane is still away on vacation amidst rumours of him leaving as well as departures happening in the form of Toby Alderweireld, Juan Foyth, Danny Rose and Erik Lamela – Spurs have been boosted by the arrivals of Bryan Gil and Pierluigi Gollini.
The third and final match of the series will feature Arsenal against Spurs on August 8, in a North London derby clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The inception of the series owes itself to Mind – the United Kingdom’s leading mental health charity – and the clubs, using their huge global reach and platforms, who will aim to promote mental health awareness as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
£5 from each ticket sold will support charitable projects, with Mind receiving 25 percent of proceeds from each of the three matches in the Mind Series and with each club’s foundation receiving 75 percent of proceeds from their home match.
All in all, the tournament promises to be a highly competitive series despite the stated purpose for it, and one can expect games of great quality between three of the best teams in the country – who will look to get one up over the other before the new Premier League season begins in mid-August.