Arsenal coach Unai Emery confirmed at his press conference today that his side will be without four of their experienced stars for Manchester City’s trip to the Emirates on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
The Gunners have a shortage of left-backs with both Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac ruled out, meaning highly-rated midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has done a good job filling in for the others, will be up against Riyad Mahrez or Raheem Sterling.
Arsenal are also without long-term casualty Laurent Koscielny, while England international Danny Welbeck also misses out.
“Today, Nacho Monreal began to train with the team,” Emery said. “As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week but on Sunday it will be too 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’m not sure because I am going to decide tomorrow [Saturday] on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”
Aaron Ramsey has won his race to be fit for the match though, with Arsenal looking to improve on their poor record against City last season which saw Pep Guardiola’s team beat the Gunners three times – including in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
City will have more or less a full strength squad to choose from besides Danilo, who is still recovering from an injury picked up at the World Cup. Guardiola confirmed at his own press conference today that both Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are available after starting training on Monday.
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