Arsenal Team News: Wenger Without 8 First Team Players For Liverpool Clash
Arsene Wenger has given the latest team news ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Liverpool and confirmed a huge fitness blow ahead of the game
Arsenal kick off their 2016/17 Premier League campaign with a huge game against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of the match, boss Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media at his press conference this morning and he’s given reporters the latest team and injury news.
Unfortunately, the Arsenal manager confirmed a major fitness blow with the news that Laurent Koscielny is out of their season opener this weekend.
Koscielny was granted an extended holiday following his participation at Euro 2016 with France and only returned to pre-season training last Monday.
There were suggestions in the press that Wenger might rush the 30-year-old back sooner than expected and start him against Liverpool to help ease Arsenal’s crisis in defence.
Gabriel has been ruled out for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury so the Brazilian international joins Per Mertesacker on the sidelines with the German not expected back for four months due to a knee injury.
However, Wenger has confirmed that Koscielny isn’t ready to return and won’t be available for selection to face Jurgen Klopp’s men when they arrive in London on Sunday.
Wenger told reporters:
“We have lost three centre backs because Laurent Koscielny is also not ready and out of the game but I believe we are equipped to do well.” source: Express
It means that Wenger is set to hand 20-year-old Rob Holding his Premier League debut following his summer move from Bolton and he could be joined by fellow England Under-21 international Calum Chambers at the back.
The Arsenal boss didn’t give any update on Mesut Ozil or Olivier Giroud’s availability this weekend but as the pair also only began their pre-season preparations earlier this week, they too are expected to sit out the Liverpool game.
Wenger confirmed yesterday that Jack Wilshere will be short of fitness for this weekend after only recently returning to training following a minor knee injury that he suffered while on the clubs pre-season tour of the United States.
So with Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson also ruled out with long-term injuries it means that Arsenal will be without a total of eight players for the big kick off against Liverpool on Sunday.