Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes midfield duo Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil should be ‘okay’ for their FA Community Shield clash at Wembley this weekend.
Ozil has been recovering from an ankle injury while Wales international Ramsey has a muscular complaint.
However, Wenger believes both players will be match fit in time for the season’s curtain-raiser at 2pm on Sunday.
“We have basically have everyone available to choose from on Sunday.
“We did not have Ozil in full training but he should be okay.
“Ramsey should be okay as well.”
Ramsey, in particular, will be looking to put injury problems of recent years behind him. Having only featured in 30 Premier League matches in a season on just one occasion over the last four years, he is hoping that his hamstring and thigh issues will not underpin this coming season.
Another player who will feature against Chelsea is Laurent Koscielny. Koscielny was dismissed in the Gunners final league game of the season and received a three match ban as mandatory. The first game he missed through suspension was the FA Cup final win over Chelsea the following week, which Arsenal won 2-1. But as this weekend’s match is not deemed a competitive fixture, he will be free to play if selected.
Arsenal’s record signing Alexandre Lacazette, the £52.7m signing from Lyon, is set to start. Sead Kolasinac, the free signing from Schalke after his contract expired, will offer competition to Kieran Gibbs, with the Bosnia-Herzegovina left-back ready to put Gibbs and Nacho Monreal under pressure for the right to start.
One Arsenal player who won’t start though is Alexis Sanchez, who only returned to training yesterday.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Morato is set to start following his switch from Real Madrid, as he looks to go about replacing Diego Costa, whose lawyer is currently demanding a a move to Atletico Madrid. Ricardo Cardosa has said Costa will not play for Chelsea again and will only be signing for Diego Simeone’s La Liga side.
The 28-year-old moved to Chelsea in 2015 and has won two Premier League trophies. However, a falling out with Chelsea manager Antonia Conte led to the former Italy manager making clear the striker would not be lining out for him again.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look back at a dream week for Bohemians and those controversial Bray Wanderers statements, as well as the usual round-up of the latest League of Ireland action.