Arsenal Boss Confirms Fresh Double Fitness Blow Ahead Of Liverpool Clash
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a double fitness concern with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla both doubts to face Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed a fresh double fitness concern with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla both doubts to face Liverpool on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.
Arsenal wrapped-up their pre-season tour of the United States with a 3-1 win over Chivas in Los Angeles last night but Wilshere was a surprise omission from the squad.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Wenger confirmed that the midfielder is suffering from a knee [patella] injury but the Gunners boss hopes it’s nothing serious and that the 23-year-old will be able to travel to Scandinavia for friendlies against Viking and Man City later this week.
Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail:
‘It’s a slight patella problem but I think he should be with us on tour on Thursday (for games against Viking and Manchester City). I hope he will, yes.’
Wilshere is still trying to regain full fitness after missing the whole of last season through injury so even a minor knee injury is going to be a set-back ahead of the season opener against Liverpool.
The midfielder will now sit out training for the next few days and even if he does make a quick recovery, Wilshere has less than two weeks until Arsenal host Liverpool so he’s facing a race against time to prove his fitness.
Another key player who is unlikely to face Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Emirates on August 14th is Santi Cazorla after Wenger told Arsenal.com that the Spaniard is still lacking in match fitness.
Cazorla missed almost six months of last season with a knee injury and although he came through 45 minutes against Chivas last night, Wenger believes the 31-year-old won’t be fully-fit until the end of August.
He is our technical security in midfield and we missed him for five or six months last season. At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time.
He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on August 14th, but at the end of August he should be alright.
So it looks like another two key Arsenal players are doubts to face Liverpool with Wilshere and Cazorla set to join Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck in missing the game.
Welbeck and Mertesacker are both out with long-term injuries while Koscielny, Ozil and Giroud don’t return to pre-season training until later this week meaning they have virtually no chance of being fit in time to face Liverpool.
Sanchez and Ramsey are now back in light training but with less than two weeks to prepare for the Merseysiders arrival at the Emirates, they are also expected to miss the big kick off unless they can prove their fitness to Wenger over the coming days.
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