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Arsenal cope with gruelling heat in Shanghai as preseason tour hits China

SHANGHAI -- Arsenal were doing double training sessions in sweltering heat in Shanghai on Monday for a sweaty start to the China leg of their preseason tour.

Arsene Wenger's side arrived in Shanghai late on Sunday after a 10-hour flight from Sydney, ahead of playing Bayern Munich on Wednesday before flying to Beijing for a friendly against Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Despite the scorching temperatures in the city, which were set to reach 35 degrees Celsius during the day, Wenger seemed intent on making the most of the trip by immediately putting his players through gruelling morning and afternoon sessions.

It left the Arsenal squad looking for some inventive ways to cool off, with Theo Walcott posting a picture of himself taking a bath in what looked like a rubbish bin. 

The club's photographer also posted photos showing the players being put through their paces in the sweltering temperatures.

Wednesday's game will offer Arsenal a chance to get a measure of redemption for the dual 5-1 defeats to Bayern in the Champions League round of 16 last season -- losses that helped derail their campaign in February and March.

But the intense training programme showed Wenger is more concerned with getting his players in shape for the new season, though Arsenal are still expected to field a fairly strong lineup against Bayern.

Arsenal are coming off a week of playing and training in cooler temperatures in Australia, but will face similar heat in Beijing where temperatures are also expected to hover around the 35 degree Celsius mark.

Wenger and Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti are set to face the media on Tuesday, when Alexis Sanchez will likely be one of the main topics again after he was linked with a move to Bayern earlier this summer.

Arsenal players also took time to entertain local fans on Monday, with some evening sightseeing on the schedule as well. 

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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