Arsene Wenger will be without the services of Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal begin their campaign for the 2017/18 Premier League season on Friday.
The 2017/18 Premier League season kicks off on Friday when Arsenal play hosts to Leicester City at the Emirates. The two sides endured disappointing campaigns in the 2016/17 season and will be looking to start this season on a positive note.
Arsene Wenger has a host of injury issues at hand ahead of the visit of Leicester. The Frenchman’s injury crisis could see him be without the services of as many as eight first-team players due to fitness issues.
The most notable absentee from Wenger’s matchday squad will be Alexis Sanchez, who has been sidelined with an abdominal strain that he sustained in training ahead of the Community Shield match against Chelsea last week.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 9, 2017
The Chilean is set to be out for two weeks. Sanchez is joined on the treatment table by Santi Cazorla (Achilles), Gabriel (knee) and Jack Wilshere (ankle), who are all out with medium-to-long-term injuries. Veteran defender Laurent Koscielny is suspended following his dismissal against Everton last season.
Wenger is also sweating over the fitness of Mesut Ozil (ankle) and Aaron Ramsey (calf), with both players struggling with their respective knocks since last week. Per Mertesacker (head) and Shkodran Mustafi (match fitness) are doubtful as well, giving the Frenchman a major selection headache in defence.
While the quartet has trained this week, the Arsenal boss has not provided an affirmation over their availability for the match on Friday, meaning Sead Kolasinac could fill in in the back-three, while Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck could be starting in attack.
Providing the team news for his side during his pre-match press conference, Wenger said, “I have plenty of uncertainties about the players who didn’t play against Chelsea. 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.”
Meanwhile, Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare has a few pressing injury concerns to deal with as well and he will be travelling to North London without Danny Drinkwater, Vincent Iborra and Robert Huth.