Arsenal Team News: Key Man Fit But Emery Without 3 Players For Man City Clash
Unai Emery will be without at least three players for Sunday’s visit of Manchester City but a key man has been passed fit for the game.
Premier League football returns this weekend and Arsenal kick their 2018/19 campaign off when they welcome Man City to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Unai Emery has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and the new boss has offered a full team news and injury update ahead of the game. The Spanish coach has suggested that he may hand Ainsley Maitland-Niles a start at left-back as he could be without both Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal this weekend.
Kolasinac is certain to miss out after being ruled out for at least 8 weeks with a knee injury that he picked up against Chelsea earlier this month. Monreal returned to full training yesterday but hasn’t featured in any pre-season games so is unlikely to be risked against City meaning Maitland-Niles is set to be given his chance.
Danny Welbeck began his pre-season work on Monday after enjoying a break following his exploits at the World Cup with England but he’s still short of match practice so won’t be considered against City.
Laurent Koscielny is our only other major absentee as the French centre-back continues to recover from surgery on an Achilles injury that he suffered towards the back end of last season.
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The club confirmed on Thursday that Aaron Ramsey had returned to training after recovering from a minor knock that kept him out of the recent friendlies against Chelsea and Lazio so the midfielder is expected to start this weekend.
Emery told Football London:
“We have Koscielny out with a long injury and then also Kolasinac has a long injury. Nacho Monreal began to train with the team [on Friday]. As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week but on Sunday it will be early to start playing him.
“The other players are OK and we are working on the possibility to work with Ainsley, who has experience in this [left-back] position.
“We want to give him confidence. I am going to decide tomorrow [Saturday] on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”
Emery has worked hard to revamp the squad he inherited from Arsene Wenger with five new arrivals coming through the door this summer so Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi should all be in the squad against City.
It will be interesting to see who Emery opts for in goal between Leno and Petr Cech but Sokratis is almost certain to start on Sunday while Torreira will be a starter if he’s deemed match fit after arriving back late to pre-season following the World Cup.
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