Arsenal will play the first game of the 2017/18 Premier League season when they host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night. The Gunners got a morale boosting win over Chelsea in the Community Shield last weekend, and manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that it could be more or less the same squad featuring in the curtain raiser.
Petr Cech has been the Gunners’ first-choice over the past two seasons, and he is a certainty to start between the sticks. Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal are likely to start in the back three again with Laurent Koscielny still suspended while Per Mertesacker could take some time to recover from the deep cut on his head. With Gabriel also in the treatment room, all signs suggest that Shkodran Mustafi will start on the night.
Hector Bellerin is a strong favourite to take up the right wing-back spot and he could be accompanied by Sead Kolasinac at left wing-back following his brilliant debut performance in the Shield, which included a match-defining goal.
The midfield will most probably remain unchanged with both Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny standing out with their performances while Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin are still recovering from their muscle and ankle injuries respectively.
Both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will take no part versus the Foxes with the latter sustaining an abdominal strain which will keep him for at least two weeks. In their absence, Danny Welbeck could resume his duties as a left-sided attacker with Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to accompany him ahead of Alex Iwobi, who looked lively versus Chelsea.
The striker’s position looks all but sealed by Alexandre Lacazette, who would have scored his maiden Gunners goal at Wembley – barring the woodwork coming in his way.
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