Arsenal have been handed a huge blow ahead of their Premier League opener with Leicester City with the news that Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey could all miss the match (via Arsenal.com).
Matchday: Team News – Player Ratings – Match Highlights
Match: Arsenal v Leicester City
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): Fri 11 Aug 19:45
It’s hardly the ideal way to head into a new Premier League season. For the past few years, Arsenal have started their league season amid chaos on the pitch.
The defeats to Aston Villa, West Ham United and Liverpool in recent years have started the Gunners off on the wrong foot.
Now, it seems that this season’s opener will be a cause for concern as well as Arsene Wenger gave his team news ahead of the clash.
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“I have plenty of uncertainties about the players who didn’t play against Chelsea,” Wenger said in his pre-match press conference. “For example Ramsey, Ozil, Mertesacker… and of course, Koscielny is suspended.
“I have players coming back who have not played, like Mustafi. Alexis will not be available for example, so I cannot go into the game with too many uncertainties. I can take a gamble on one, maybe maximum two, but I focus more on the players who had the right number of competitive minutes in recent weeks.”
The team news is a bitter blow for Arsenal fans. As impressive as the Gunners were against Chelsea on Sunday, there was a feeling that the likes of Sanchez and Özil were being rested for Friday, not ruled out altogether.
“We are well prepared and ready for a fight, and of course ambitious as well,” Wenger continued.
“I think we have a good level of physical preparation. All our players got a decent number of minutes of good competition, so overall the preparation of the squad looks good.
“Then we need to transform the quality of the preparation into points and that is, of course, a pragmatic view, but what matters is we win the next game and start in a strong way, which we didn’t do last year. That’s what we want to achieve this season.”
It’s a blow for Arsenal with the new season just two days away. The Gunners will need a win against Leicester City or risk starting off on the back foot. Let’s hope that the side which beat Chelsea on the weekend can have similar success against the Foxes in the Premier League.