Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has given the team news ahead of the Premier League opener against West Ham United. Sanchez, Wilshere, Rosicky and Welbeck will be the notable absentees for the Emirates stadium showdown.


Arsenal FC’s perfect pre-season has followed by a small injury-scare to midfielder Jack Wilshere, who missed the Community Shield against Chelsea FC due to an ankle injury. Last season’s Arsenal FC’s Player-of-the-year Alexis Sanchez will not be risked for the weekend clash against West Ham, while Welbeck and Rosicky are still some way from returning to full fitness. The Gunners’ only summer recruit so far, Chelsea FC veteran goal-keeper Petr Cech is set to make his Premier League debut for the Gunners.

Alexis Sanchez not to be risked

The Gunners will be without the services of star forward Alexis Sanchez, who returned to training earlier earlier this week and will not be risked. Arsene Wenger, in his press-conference said that the Chilean has returned in ‘surprisingly good shape’, however, he will be rested in order to make sure the 26-year-old does not sustain an injury. The 26-year-old has had a hectic last 14 months, in which he was involved in the World Cup, followed by a full season with Arsenal FC and then in the Copa America winning campaign of Chile. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored the winner against Chelsea FC, could be seen filling in for Sanchez in the starting line-up.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, as quoted by Arsenal’s official website, the Frenchman said:

“Alexis understands perfectly well. He is one of the players who played the World Cup [in 2014], came back here and played the whole season without a break, goes to the Copa America and basically cannot start the season.

“At some stage you need to give these players a rest or they get serious injuries.”

Theo Walcott could get the nod ahead of Olivier Giroud

Soccer Emirates Cup - Arsenal vs VFL Wolfsburg

Walcott has been preferred over Giroud in the Gunners’ last two competitive fixtures

Arsenal FC will be without the services of Jack Wilshere – who has been sidelined for several weeks – after sustaining a hairline fracture to his left fibula following an alleged training ground challenge from defender Gabriel. Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are also set to miss the match as they continue their progressive recoveries from knee injuries, with the English international not ‘too far away’ from being ready.

“We have Rosicky on a progressive recovery,” Wenger added.

“We have Welbeck on a progressive recovery. He is not too far away, but he is not ready for Sunday.”

There also remains some doubt over who would lead the line for Arsenal FC against West Ham on Sunday, with Olivier Giroud having been benched for the Gunners’ last two competitive fixtures. Theo Walcott started as the lone striker in the 4-0 thumping of Aston Villa in the FA Cup finals and found the back of the net with a real strikers finish.

The speedster also displaced Giroud in the 1-0 win over Chelsea FC in the Community Shield. However, Giroud’s physical presence may be the need of the hour against the Hammers. With Arsenal FC rumoured to be interested in signing a world class striker, question marks have been raised over the long-term future of Giroud at the Emirates.