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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fans React to Olivier Giroud’s performance

Arsenal supporters were in a good mood after today’s 4-1 victory at the Stadium of Light over Sunderland, with Gunners Fan TV’s Claude even apologised to Olivier Giroud of his criticism
   France international forward came off the bench this afternoon and led Gunners to the victory over Sunderland.

Former Montpellier striker has been a subject of criticism since his arrival at Emirates Stadium.
Copa America winner Alexis Sanchez has been preferred out of position in a new-look striker role while Frenchman has been alos suffering from a knee injury.

Came from the sub, the 30-year-old striker has scored with each of his first two touches of the ball to put Gunners up front.

  

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thierry Henry reveals the reason why Ozil and Walcott are in fine goalscoring form this season

Thierry Henry has revealed just why Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott are scoring so many goals for Arsenal this season and has explained it is all down to Alexis Sanchez.

The Chile international has been moved to a central role this season to great success, scoring six goals while Walcott is the team’s top scorer with eight in all competitions.

Ozil has also chipped in with six, including his first senior hat-trick last week against Ludogorets in the Champions League, and Henry says that Sanchez deserves the credit for their success.

“He did it for Udinese also in Italy and does it ever so well,” Henry said according to The Metro.

“When you have a guy who as a No.9, the way he puts pressure, the way he moves, his vision for the ball, that creates a lot of holes for Ozil. That’s why Ozil is scoring a lot of goals – off the movement of Alexis Sanchez.

“Ozil can now go and make those runs as a No.10. Theo [Walcott] is scoring a lot of goals also because there’s a lot of movement.

“I think Arsene [Wenger] did it pretty well and I think the reason why Arsenal are doing well so far during this season is because Alexis is playing up there and making all those movements to create a lot of space for Ozil.”

Arsenal’s fine form has seen them shrug off a slow start to move level on points at the top of the table with Manchester City. Only Pep Guardiola’s side and Liverpool have scored more goals than the Gunners this season in the Premier League.

The Gunners will be hoping the duo’s scoring form continues and they will have the perfect opportunity on Saturday when they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on the Premier League’s bottom side Sunderland.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Arsenal starting line-up against Reading

Arsenal host Championship opposition in the EFL Cup tomorrow night as Reading make the journey to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners, on paper at least, have the easiest tie in the competition out of their Premier League rivals- but there could still be a slip-up.

After being held to a goalless draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday, Arsenal saw their seven-match winning run in all competitions brought to a close. Meanwhile, Reading won 1-0 at Preston to secure their first victory in five matches this season.

All the pointers may indicate a comfortable win for the Gunners but Arsene Wenger will certainly shuffle his pack ahead of a busy two weeks for Arsenal, where they face Sunderland, Ludogorets and Tottenham Hotspur.

The French striker gets a hounding from the press and fans alike but in Arsenal’s draw at the weekend, there was a very obvious Olivier Giroud shaped hole in the Gunners attack. The lack of presence in the box restricted Arsenal’s options but the former Montpellier man returns from injury.

He’s likely to start on the bench, with Lucas Perez leading the line, but Wenger will almost certainly give him game time to bolster his match fitness for the coming weeks. If he can find his feet quickly, then Arsenal will possess a superb Plan B for games where they’re struggling to break down the opposition.

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Arsenal Starlet set to leave the Emirates in January

Arsenal youngster Krystian Bielik could be set for a loan move in the January transfer window, with manager Arsene Wenger admitting to be considering the player’s future at the club.

The Poland U18 international joined the club’s youth team in 2015 from Legia Warsaw, however the teenager has only made two senior appearances for the club since then, and even then he has been restricted to EFL Cup fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.

The Pole is yet to break into the starting XI for his first Premier League outing, and opportunities are few and far between, with the midfielder unlikely to displace the likes of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and summer signing Granit Xhaka.

Despite most of his appearances coming in the Premier League’s reserve division or the Uefa Youth League, Gunners boss Wenger has admitted that his patience may be rewarded in the form of first team football elsewhere, but suggests he still isn’t ready for his Premier League bow.

Speaking after the club’s 6-0 Champions League thumping of Ludogorets on Tuesday evening, via IBTimes, Wenger said: “The plan with him, he already works with us a lot, with the first team.

“He has developed very well. For me he has all the attributes to be a great player but now he is not ready experience wise to play in our team.

“I will consider the situation at the end of December to see if he can go out [on loan] somewhere and play or if we’ll keep him until the end of the season here.”

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Arsenal Team News: Wenger Reveals Squad But Rules Duo Out Of Reading Clash

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Tuesday night’s EFL Cup fourth round clash with Reading.

The Frenchman confirmed that Santi Cazorla has once again been ruled out after missing Saturday’s Premier League stalemate with Middlesbrough due to an achilles problem.

The midfielder suffered the injury during the second half of our 6-0 victory over Ludogorets in the Champions League last week and there has been no indication as to when he’ll be available again.

Wenger also said that Aaron Ramsey is still unavailable as he’s not considered fit enough to return to action having only recently resumed full training following a hamstring injury that’s kept him on the sidelines since the opening weekend of the season.

However, there was some positive news as the boss revealed that Olivier Giroud will return to the squad tomorrow after overcoming a toe injury that’s plagued him since the middle of September.

Wenger also revealed his squad news and he’ll once again name a weakened side in the League Cup with Gabriel, Rob Holding, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs set to make-up the back-four.

Youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide will get a chance to impress as he joins Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the side while summer signing Lucas Perez is also set to make just his third start for the club.

Here is what Wenger told Arsenal.com this afternoon:

on the latest team news…
Cazorla will not be available, but it looked after the game that apart from some tired legs and disappointed minds, we had nothing else to declare.

on Giroud and Ramsey…
I think Olivier will be included, but for Aaron it is too early although he is back in full training now.

on his squad against Reading…
It will be a similar squad to against Nottingham Forest. We will have Gabriel, Holding, Jenkinson will be back and will play. Jeff Reine-Adelaide will play, otherwise I think Iwobi, Lucas, Oxlade-Chamberlain will also play. Gibbs – who captained the team at Forest – will do it again on Tuesday.


It’s a big boost to have Giroud back in the squad and hopefully he can get a few minutes under his belt while it’s also good to see Jenkinson making an appearance for the first team after overcoming a serious knee injury.

Despite making a number of changes to the side that played against Middlesbrough on Saturday, we’re still able to field a strong team tomorrow and I’d also expect Mohamed Elneny and Emi Martinez to feature along with the players Arsene named above.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Injury Blow – Arsenal Star Ruled Out Of Middlesbrough Clash

Arsenal have had a fairly decent start to the season as they are the joint leaders of the Premier League along with Manchester City. Arsenal are set to take on Middlesbrough at home on 22nd October (Today) but according to a latest statement by Arsene Wenger, Santi Cazorla would not feature in the game.

Santi has been an extremely instrumental part of the Arsenal squad this season having featured in all the games. The Spaniard has impressed by bagging 2 goals and 3 assists to his name in just 11 outings.

Santi received a knock in Arsenal’s thumping 6-0 victory at home in UEFA Champions League against Ludogorets. The 31 year old faces a late fitness test prior to the game against Middlesbrough.

Excerpts from Arsene Wenger’s Press Conference,

From Wednesday night it looks like we have no big problems,

The only uncertainty I have is Santi Cazorla who got a kick.

We’ll see how he is today and nobody coming back. Of course, we lose Xhaka because he’s suspended. Everybody else should be available.


To add to Arsene Wenger’s vows, Arsenal would go into the game without 3 key players at least. Oliver Giroud (toe) and Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) would return to action next week. Danny Welbeck (knee) is also going to miss the fixture.

Arsenal host Middlesbrough looking to continue their 11-match unbeaten streak across all competitions and will move top of the Premier League with a win.


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Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Middlesbrough – Deadly Trio Set to Start

Arsenal vs Middlesbrough
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Saturday; October 22; 2016
Kick off: 3:00pm
Managers: Arsene Wenger; Aitor Karanka

Form Guide: 

Arsenal: WWWWW
Middlesbrough: LWLLL

Arsenal team news:

Arsenal are missing the suspended Granit Xhaka, who was sent off against Swansea.Santi Cazorla is a doubt after taking a kick against Ludogorets, but the Gunners otherwise have no fresh injury concerns.Olivier Giroud (toe), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are still missing.

Middlesbrough team news:

Boro skipper Grant Leadbitter is close to a return.The midfielder is yet to feature this season after undergoing hernia surgery during the summer, but is back in training and working his way towards full match fitness, although a starting berth against Arsenal is likely to come too soon for him.Head coach Aitor Karanka otherwise has no fresh injury concerns.

Arsenal Possible Lineup vs Middlesbrough

Arsenal have won just one of their last six Premier League fixtures against Middlesbrough, though four of these were draws (L1).Middlesbrough’s last league victory away to Arsenal came in April 2001, winning 3-0 thanks to own goals from Edu, Sylvinho and a strike from Hamilton Ricard.Since that loss, Arsenal have won six of their last eight home games against Boro in the Premier League (D2).The last time these two sides met was in the 2014/15 FA Cup, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to send Arsenal to the quarter finals. They went on to lift the trophy that year.This game is on the same day as Arsene Wenger’s 67th birthday. He has won his two previous Premier League games on his birthday, 1-0 v Man City in 2005 and 4-0 v Reading in 2006.
    
     The Gunners have scored 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 goals in Premier League matches against Middlesbrough – one of four clubs to do so against another in Premier League history (also Chelsea vs Sunderland, Everton vs Sunderland and Man City vs Norwich).

    Mesut Özil has been directly involved in 51 goals in 90 league games for Arsenal (18 goals, 33 assists), the same total he had after 90 La Liga games for Real Madrid (14 goals, 37 assists).

     Middlesbrough’s only Premier League win this season has come against bottom club Sunderland (D3 L4).Five of Middlesbrough’s seven Premier League goals have come in the first half this season (71 per cent), a league-high proportion.

Prediction: Arsenal 2–Middlesbrough

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Arsenal v Swansea: the Untold match preview, and teams and a do-it-yourself team selector

And so off we go again after another unwelcome interruption.   And once again the press are struggling to find something negative to say about us.   Here’s the Guardian’s latest attempt

Four consecutive clean sheets leading up to the international break suggests that defensively Arsenal have found an encouraging solid platform, based upon the growing rapport between the excellent Laurent Koscielny and the determined newcomer Shkodran Mustafi, with Héctor Bellerín and Nacho Monreal so reliable on either side. But in the spirit of old habits dying hard it is not difficult to imagine fragility at the back haunting them in a pressurised game. An injury in a now settled back four could bring complications.

Or try this from the Daily Mail where the question was put to various reporters, “Are Arsenal flattering to deceive again?”

BARLOW: No, they are stronger and tougher than they have been in a decade. Arsene Wenger has finally abandoned the flawed ‘Project Youth’ and combined the best of his young players like Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi with more experience and knowhow. They remain flimsy at the back but have greater presence and more fighters in midfield and still have quality up front, despite the old complaint about no world-class centre forward.

That one from Barlow is particularly unreasonable, in that “project youth” was the club’s way of paying off the stadium debt and surviving in the top four.  And indeed in surviving the stadium move.  Just look at any of the Untold reports on what happens to clubs when they move stadia.  They get relegated.   Arsenal is the one gleaming exception.

WHEELER: What did you expect? They will look like challengers then look like chumps, albeit chumps playing very nice football. And just when we think Arsenal will miss out on the Champions League, they’ll sneak into the top four while someone else is celebrating winning the title. It’s deja vu, as Wenger might say.

Except Mr Wenger doesn’t.  What he actually said was

“I must say that the negativity comes very quickly – it is a virus that travels very quickly and goes very slowly,” said Wenger. “I believe our fans are behind us. It is strange because in 2016 how many [Premier League] games have we lost away from home? One at Man United. When you listen to people you’d never believe it. So we have to perform.

“You focus on what is important for you and what can help you and accept the assessment of people around you.  Fans are part of our game and they have the right to be happy, not to be happy. My job is to focus on my work and trying to make them happy.

“I believe at the moment the vibes are positive. We have reduced the distance to the top teams. We have to continue to get to the next level. We can only think we have to create a positive environment and to do that we have to perform. The rest we have to ignore.”

And before we come to the team, I am going to give a plug for the Telegraph.  I criticise them a lot, but they have introduced a newdo-it-yourself team selector.  If you visit their preview today and scroll down you’ll find it – just scroll through the article.  You choose the format (4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 or whatever) and then slide in the players from a panel on the right.  They’ve even listed some of our lesser known youngsters.  Great fun.

I don’t have such technology, so here’s my approach.  We know the goalkeeper and the defence, but after that it gets a bit questionable.

Cech

Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal

????    ????

Theo  Ozil  Iwobi

????

To start with the defensive midfield, we have Xhaka, Coquelin and Santi Cazorla all of whom expect to play.   Xhaka has been made to wait a few games so far this season, and there could be an issue of whether Santi Cazorla can play each and every game, what with us having two games a week at the moment.

So I guess the most likely duo would be Xhaka and Coquelin with Xhaka given the job of roaming forward with the piercing through balls.  If it were Xhaka and Santi Caz then Xhaka would be staying much further back.

Up front Alexis has once again arrived back from his homeland very late, even though he would have had a private jet and all.  The problem is that just to be deliberately awkward Chile decided to play Peru on 12 October – this Wednesday.   Which could place him on the bench, or at home asleep in bed.  Interestingly not one of the papers I read mentioned any of this and just have him as automatic choice.

Maybe the press have been tipped off that Arsenal now have faster than light travel which by and large means Alexis got back before he left.

Giroud is still nursing his toe so that would put Pérez up front, with Alexis possibly coming on as a sub.  If however Alexis is fit and bouncing and raring to go he could start and Pérez could be the sub.

That would leave on the beach:

One of the three defensive midfieldersEither Pérez or AlexisPlus Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Jenkinson is back, but I suspect he might get his first outing in the league cup game.  Ramsey could be a sub today but I think that given there is no urgent need for him he could be held at least until midweek.

How you see this one going depends on which way you turn.  Here are two contradictory statistics.


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10 things to look out for in the Premier League this weekend

After two excruciating weeks of international football, the Premier League is back in town this weekend and has brought with it a number of top class games with teams around the country fighting for early supremacy this season. This being the 8th round of the campaign, the points table has started to take shape and it is high time for the clubs to work hard to reach their goals for the season. Here are 10 talking points from the Premier League this weekend:

Battle of the Italians:

Claudio Ranieri, the Italian mastermind who took the Foxes to a title last season, will travel to the Stamford Bridge this weekend to face his countryman in Antonio Conte in a sizzling affair this weekend. Both teams are not at their best at the moment and will have to work hard to take all three points from this game.

Eddie Howe to extend his run?

The Cherries are now unbeaten in the last two games in the league and look a side that is confident of their abilities. They will take on Mike Phelan’s Hull City side this weekend  who are fresh from a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea. It will be an interesting game with Bournemouth going in as favorites playing at home.

Can Bradley halt Wenger?

Swansea City have a new coach in Bob Bradley, who will travel to the Emirates in his first game incharge of the Liberty outfit. Wenger’s side have been ruthless recently but the ‘unknown’ that Bradley carries with him in his first season in the country might pose some problems for the Gunners.

 

Battle between the bottom two:

With just 5 points and no wins between them, David Moyes’ Sunderland and Mark Hughes’ Stoke City will take on each other this weekend for a virtual six pointer at the relegation zone. Both teams are fresh from 1-1 draws before the break and will hope to get the better of the other on the night in Stoke.

Can Pochettino keep his run?

After a remarkable title charge last season, the Spurs are yet to be beaten this season and will face a Baggies side that have been decent early this campaign. Tony Pulis’ side has what it takes to challenge the Spurs and playing at home, they will hope to take something from this game and stun the London outfit.

High time for Slaven Bilic:

Though a draw against Middlesbrough gave Bilic sometime early this season, he will need to impress the fans and the owners on their trip to the Selhurst Park this weekend. Palace are in decent form and will not allow the Hammers to run away with the game making Bilic’s work that much harder.

True test for Ronald Koeman:

With just one loss so far this season, the Toffees are off to a decent start but their biggest test this season is to come this weekend when they travel to the Etihad to face a City side that are angry after their defeat to the Spurs. Koeman’s side drew their last game against Palace and the manager will hope that they can put in a better performance this weekend.

Can Watford keep climbing?

Though they were held to a draw by the Cherries in the previous game, Mazzari’s side are in decent form and will provide a tough test at the Riverside stadium this weekend. Karanka’s side are also fresh from a draw and will hope to take all three points from this game which will, by no means, be easy.

Saints test for Sean Dyche:

An organized Burnely side have provided some disciplined performance this season but they will have to be at their best when they meet Claude Puel’s Southampton side who are slowly catching some form. Both teams are in need of some points which will provide for an entertaining game this weekend.

The English rivalry just got bigger:

The most successful clubs in the history of the English football, Liverpool and Manchester United, have over the years produced some extraordinary affairs with both clubs just hating the other. However, this enmity just got bigger as two of the biggest managers in Europe in Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho also facing off in a clash that promises to exceed every expectation. 

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Arsenal open Talks with PSG Forward



Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move to signing a quality centre-forward in the recent years but they have have failed to materlaise any deal thus far.

Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann,  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski all of them have been linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edindson Cavani has been also on Arsene Wenger’s wishlist and Frenchman can reportedly renew interest fro Uruguayan forward after it has been revealed that he is open for PSG exit next summer.

The Uruguay international forward’s contract reportedly expires in 2018 and Arsenal are believed to be one of the main favourites to sign him.

This means PSG may try to cash in on him while they still can, with AS claiming clubs could get a boost in their pursuit of him at the end of this season.

Alongside with Arsenal another London club Chelsea have expressed interest for South American forward who has been in fine form in the recent years and could easily boost the offensive options of any Premier League clubs.

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Arsenal News Summary: Bellerin’s Transfer Update, Cazorla’s Message to Youngsters, Portuguese Starlet on Radar

Barcelona Refused to Pay £40m For Arsenal 21-year-old Star Hector Bellerin

Barcelona have reportedly refused to meet the Arsenal demands for 21-year-old full-back Hector Bellerin, who has been tipped to join his boyhood club next summer.

The 21-year-old explosive full-back came through the ranks of Nou Camp before joining Arsene Wenger’s side in 2011 and now he has been heavily linked with a return to his old club.

La Liga Defending champions Barcelona are in need of a new full-back after the departure of Dani Alves and Bellerin thought to be an ideal replacement for Brazilian star.

However, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reports the Catalan club are struggling to do a deal as the demands are too high.

Arsene Wenger’s side are in absolutely no desire to part with Bellerin and instead are ready to offer him a new bumper deal that will tie him down at Emirates Stadium.

Any decision from the Gunners to sell would reportedly have to involve a huge bid of over £40million – a figure that Catalans are unwilling to pay for their former player.

Arsene Wenger Planning Big Money Move For Portuguese Sensation Andre Silva

According to the Portuguese newspaperO Jogo reports, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger planning to strengthen attacking options in January due to Danny Welbeck’s injury problems in the recent years and preparing move for Porto striker Andre Silva who has £52.8m release clause in his current deal.

Arsene Wenger has reportedly sent scouts to watch Silva in action during Porto’s Champions League clash against PL defending champions Leicester City.

The Portuguese sensation has been also in fine form after scoring hat-trick during the world cup qualifier.

Wenger has been impressed with Silva since he has watched him at the under-20 World Cup.

The 20-year-old forward has already an insane record for his country’s international levels with

The Portuguese starlet due to his incredible performances has been rewarded with a five-year deal by Porto earlier in the summer, which includes a huge £52.8 million release clause, according to the ESPN reports.

He has begun the season in fine form, scoring five goals in seven Primeria Liga games, and providing two assists and it’s not a big surprise to see his form is catching the attention of the Gunners.

His price tag, if Porto stuck to demanding the full release clause it could be a problem for Gunners and might search another option during the January transfer window.

 Creative Midfielder Santi Cazorla Sends Message to Young Arsenal Star

Spanish international midfielder Santi Cazorla has sent an important message to young Arsenal players.

The 31-year-old has already spent six seasons with Arsene Wenger’s side since making the transfer from La Liga outfits Villareal where he made his debut at the age of 18.

The Spaniard believes rest is vital for the footballer now due to their heavy schedules.

‘The most important thing is to take care of yourself physically, as years of football take their toll,’ Cazorla told Arsenal’s official website.

‘I know this now at the age of 31. When I was 23 or 24, I thought I could take on the whole world, train every day and nothing would ever hurt. But at 31 it’s a different story.

‘Your body has been through a lot, you can’t carry on the same way because your body just won’t tolerate it and that’s what I try to explain to the younger ones.

‘You need to look after your body and make sure you rest it properly too if you want to have a long career.’

The Spaniard established himself as one of the best players in Premier League since making his debut for Arsene Wenger’s side and young lads should listen experienced midfielder.


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Arsenal – Swansea: Match Preview, Predicted Line-Ups & Prediction

It`s been a while since Arsenal have won a home game against Swansea who, out of their last 4 games at the Emirates, have managed to get 10 points. The last defeat was probably the most painful as Wenger attributes the loss of the Premier league to that particular failure: “Last year we had a very negative experience with Swansea who killed our opportunity to win the Premier League. We have a good opportunity to show that we have learned from that.” [Quote sourced from The Premier League’s official website]. The Frenchman looks motivated to correct this unpleasant record against Swansea this Saturday when Arsenal go in as favorites.

Wenger also mentioned Swansea’s manager who apparently is currently the Gunners’ biggest threat: “Bob Bradley has a lot of experience. He’s not a beginner, he has travelled a lot and has accumulated experience in the United States.

He has been in Egypt, France recently and is now in England [i.e. English football], which is certainly a fantastic opportunity for him.

It’s also good for the Premier League – to have an American here will create even more interest for the Premier League in the United States. He is equipped to deal with what is asked of him.”  [Quotes provided by the BBC].

Arsenal should not have to go through that much trouble to defeat the Swans regardless of all the experience Bradly has. Currently his side is struggling having won just one Premier League game this season – and that was in the beginning of the competition. With three key players out injured, with 4 out of their last 4 games lost and with only 6 goals scored up until now, there’s no chance they will maitain their invincibility at the Emirates.

On the other side, the Gunners are looking better with each game. Mustafi is adapting well, Sanchez is excellent up front, Ozil is shining and Xhaka and Cazorla are working impeccably well too. There is no excuse if anything bad happens at the Emirates especially at this point in the season when the Gunners could move to first place (both City and Tottenham have tough games this week-end and might drop a couple of points).

Here is the situation for both squads in terms of injury:

Swansea:

Injured – Llorente , Montero, Dyer

Suspended – None

Arsenal:

Injured: Giroud, Ramsey, Mertesacker, Welbeck, Akpom.

Suspended – None

Prediction

We see this as a 3-1 win to Arsenal as they finally get back to winning ways against the Swans at the Emirates.

Predicted line-ups:

Arsenal

Swansea

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Arsene Wenger delivers latest update on Mesut Ozil ahead of Arsenal v Swansea

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he expects Mesut Ozil to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners host Swansea City on Saturday in the Premier League.

There had been concerns about the Germany midfielder’s fitness levels after he was substituted at half-time during his national team’s 2-0 win over Northern Ireland earlier this week.

However, the playmaker took to Twitter to reassure Arsenal fans that he had not suffered an injury in the wake of the World Cup qualifier.

And Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Thursday that Ozil appears to be fully fit as his team prepare to welcome Swansea to The Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference on Thursday morning, Wenger said of Ozil: “He told us he’s completely fit. We’ll see that today, if we have no bad news today. I see him later.

“I expect him to be available, especially because he’s only played one half, so he doesn’t need to be rested on Saturday.”

Arsenal head into Saturday’s game on the back of their 1-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League before the international break.

The north London side are currently third in the Premier League table and two points behind leaders Manchester City.


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Manchester united star want a move to Arsenal

Rooney has been dropped to the bench for United’s last three games and Redknapp thinks he needs to move on.

He was also axed by Gareth Southgate for England’s goalless draw in Slovenia.

He’s played up front and in midfield but struggled to recapture his best form.

But Redknapp thinks he could revitalise his career and be useful to a top side for two more years, saying he needs to replicate the likes of Teddy Sheringham.

And despite closing in on United’s goal record Redknapp thinks he should look for a new challenge - and even suggested Arsenal or Chelsea as possible destinations.

“I think he is a player,” Redknapp told Betsafe.

“There have been teams in the past over the years where they have taken somebody where they think they're coming to the end of their career, but you know you can get 2 years out of him. 

GETTY

Wayne Rooney should leave Manchester United, according to Harry Redknapp

“I did that quite a bit. I took people like Teddy Sheringham and Patrick Berger, they came to the club as top players and Paul Merson and I got a couple of years out of them. 

“They changed the football club around, I think Rooney is a player where one of the big clubs could take him and he cold come in and give them that extra edge, someone like Arsenal or Chelsea. 

“I would be looking for a Rooney and thinking this fella could come in, he is such a leader he could make the difference in two years and he may need a  new challenge too. 

“If he is not going to be playing at United he is certainly not going to be happy to sit on the bench on his contract, he's not that type of lad.”

MUTV caller slams Wayne Rooney in debate with Sammy McIlroy

And the former Tottenham boss reckons he can get back into the England side.

He added: “At the moment his form has dipped a bit, but Rooney is a great professional and I still feel he has a part to play. 

“Again, he needs to play and get back into the Manchester United team. He's not going to be content sat on the bench.

“I think that will come to a head in the next three, four, five games. Rooney won't be happy sitting around not playing, he is a boy that loves to play football, that’s' what makes him what he is the type of boy he is. 

GETTY

Rooney has been on the bench for United's last three games

GETTY

Rooney has scored just once in the Premier League this season

“I think Mourinho doesn’t see him as good enough to get into their team, in my opinion I think Wanye would be better off to go somewhere like a big club. 

“I think with a big club he could go in and change it around, he is that type of guy, give him a new challenge for two years, one of the top six teams. 

“If I was a manager he would be a player I would most certainly look at and bring into my club.”

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Premier League Predictions: Liverpool to beat Man United, Arsenal to put record straight


Chelsea 3-1 Leicester

@jameswalters6

Antonio Conte's men desperately need a win to stay in the title race even at this early stage.

Leicester have struggled to find their title-winning form of last season, partly because teams seem to have sussed them out.

I don't see anything but a Chelsea win in the early kick-off tomorrow.

Arsenal 2-1 Swansea
@LewisAWinter

Arsene Wenger's side have won five in a row and Swansea have lost five of their last six, so it's difficult to look past Arsenal tomorrow.

Swansea have a new manager in Bob Bradley and have a great record at the Emirates, having not lost since 2011, winning three of their last four there.

The Swans always score when they travel to N5 and they will give the 60,000 Gunners a nervous afternoon but the home side will just edge it.

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Bournemouth 2-0 Hull
@LukeGardener82

There's just a point between these two sides after seven games in the Premier League and home form is likely to be crucial for both of them throughout the season.

Eddie Howe's men have more quality with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Callum Wilson likely to start and cause Hull problems in defence.

The Cherries have four points from their last two matches and I think another three points will be secured in comfortable fashion on Saturday.

Man City 3-1 Everton
@jameswalters6

This is a huge game for Pep Guardiola and his City side.

Can they bounce back from their disappointing loss at Tottenham before the international break?

City are sweating over the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne but if the Belgium star is passed fit, I think he can make the difference and push Guardiola's men over the line.

It's also a big game for John Stones, who faces his old side for the first time since his £50m summer move.

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DECISION: Will Pep Guardiola stick with Sergio Aguero?

Stoke 3-0 Sunderland
@LukeGardener82

Stoke and Sunderland have struggled to make any sort of impact in the Premier League so far this season.

They are 19th and 20th in the table with no victories between them. But that is all going to change for Mark Hughes' men this weekend.

The Potters squad should be nowhere near the relegation zone and I think they'll pick up a handsome win over the Black Cats who are too reliant on hitman Jermain Defoe.

West Brom 0-2 Tottenham
@LewisAWinter

Spurs are the only unbeaten side left in the league and they won't be relinquishing that record at the Hawthorns.

Despite Harry Kane missing through injury, they've proven they are genuine title contenders after beating Pep Guardiola's Manchester City last time out.

The Baggies have won just one of their last seven home games under Tony Pulis and not even Tottenham old-boy Nacer Chadli will help better that record tomorrow.

Crystal Palace 2-1 West Ham

@jameswalters6

West Ham come into this one in horrible form after their dismal start to the season and I expect their run to continue at Selhurst Park tomorrow.

Christian Benteke has found his feet will shine again for the Eagles.

He'll cause the confidence-stricken Hammers plenty of problems and the former Aston Villa man will get on the scoresheet.

Not even Dimitri Payet can save West Ham at the moment.

Middlesbrough 2-3 Watford
@LukeGardener82

This is a hard one to predict with Watford inconsistent but capable of a performance that can beat any team on their day thanks to the likes of Troy Deeney.

The Hornets proved that against Manchester United last month at Vicarage Road but will find it tougher away at Middlesbrough.

Both teams have conceded plenty of goals and this could be a high scoring affair.

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TIME TO SHINE: Man United's Paul Pogba

Southampton 1-0 Burnleyvv
@LewisAW

Burnley don't score many but also have a sol defence, so this is going to be a tight one on Sunday.

After two points from their first four games, Claude Puel has turned it around at Southampton, who are unbeaten in their last three.

Charlie Austin has scored in their previous two wins and I think he will do the business again to condemn his old club to their third away loss of the season.

Liverpool 2-1 Man United
@LukeGardener82

Liverpool are in sensational form, winning their last four Premier League matches and scoring 13 goals in the process.

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United will be looking to halt that run and will be encouraged by the fact the Reds have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Team selection could prove crucial under the lights at Anfield and I think Jurgen Klopp's attack comprising of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will just earn them a victory.


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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Arsenal starting XI vs Swansea City – Alexis Sanchez missing

Arsenal face Swansea City on Saturday morning at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have struggled against Swansea the past five years, losing both matchups during the 2014/15 campaign and once last season. Coupled in with the fact that this is Swansea’s first match with new manager Bob Bradley in charge, this could be a difficult game for the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger revealed his team news on Thursday. Both Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will miss out. Giroud is dealing with a toe injury and match fitness problems, whilst Ramsey is being put through another pre-season training regiment to improve his fitness after missing the past two months with a hamstring injury. Both players are likely to miss Arsenal’s match against Ludogorets Razgard on Wednesday andMiddlesbrough next weekend.

Francis Coquelin is back in full training and available for this weekend, according to Wenger. Coquelin was the preferred defensive midfielder before his injury, butGranit Xhaka has been playing well in the Frenchman’s place. It will be interesting to see whom the manager chooses this weekend.

Carl Jenkinson is also back in contention after recovering from a serious knee ligament injury while on loan with West Ham last season. The English right back will appear for the Arsenal Under-23’s on Friday and could be in contention for Arsenal’s League Cupmatchup against Reading in a week and a half.

Although there were no new injuries to report after the international break, the traveling requirements of some players may force the manager to rotate a bit.

Here is Arsenal’s most probable starting lineup versus Swansea City on Saturday.

Goalkeeper – Cech

Petr Cech, the Premier League’s all-time leader in clean sheets, starts in goal for Arsenal. He’ll look to add to that record.

Right Back – Bellerin

Hector Bellerin starts after suffering a small injury scare while on duty for Spain’s Under-21’s. There will be some opportunities for Jenkinson to rotate in and out with the Spaniard, but Bellerin is without a doubt the club’s starting right back.

Center Backs – Mustafi & Koscielny

Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny partner up again this weekend. The duo is quickly growing into the Premier League’s best center back pairing, and the position is now one of Arsenal’s strength. The only knock on both players is their aerial ability. Both Koscielny and Mustafi are winning just over 50 percent of their challenged headers.

Left Back – Monreal

Nacho Monreal was called up to the Spanish squad to replace the injured Jordi Alba this past weekend. It was Monreal’s first piece of action for his country since 2013. He subsequently laid on an assist.

Defensive Mid – Coquelin

Coquelin returns to the lineup after recovering from a knee injury. He replaces Xhaka, who played well in place of Coquelin, but it seems Wenger prefers the Frenchman for now. Expect Xhaka and Coquelin to rotate more regularly after the Swiss captain’s performances these past few weeks.

Central Mid – Cazorla

Santi Cazorla keeps his place in the midfield. When Ramsey returns to the first team fold he’ll likely be on the bench with the way Cazorla is playing.

Having not been called up to the Spain squad, Cazorla should be fully rested.

Attacking Mid – Özil

Mesut Özil had every Arsenal fan’s stomach drop this week when he was substituted at halftime of Germany’s World Cup qualifier match against Northern Ireland on Tuesday. It appears that there is nothing wrong with Özil though, and Wenger reiterated the German playmaker is ready for this weekend.

Wide Right – Walcott

Theo Walcott had a frustrating experience while on England duty, with his performances lacking. Then again, which English player wasn’t frustrating to watch this past week?

Considering his form for club, Walcott’s starting place is secure at Arsenal.

Wide Left – Iwobi

Alex Iwobi bagged his first goal for Nigeria. It’s always nice when players return from international duty having had a good experience, and usually that translates well into their club form.

Although Iwobi is one of those players who had to do extensive traveling, it would be surprising if he were dropped. He’s frequently substituted around the 70thminute mark and he already missed a few matches earlier this year, so a rest might not be necessary.

Striker – Perez

In a surprise move, Lucas Perez will start ahead ofAlexis Sanchez. Although Chile only had one game this break, that match was on Tuesday and Alexis played the full 90 minutes. The extensive travelling coupled with when the match was played means Wenger will look to rest Alexis.

This wouldn’t be the first time Wenger made that choice after an international break this season, having done so in September against Hull City. Wenger has also discussed managing Alexis’ playing time betterthis season.

Perez gets his second start in the Premier League. He missed out on Arsenal’s last match due to a minor knee injury.

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Fresh injury blow: Wenger confirms Arsenal star will miss next two games

Arsene Wenger has confirmed which player will certainly not play a part in the upcoming league clash with Swansea City and the trip to Ludogorets next week.

Arsenal are set to resume their busy run of fixtures in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup after early October’s international break.

As usual, there are a few injuries concerns for the Gunners who have now gone nine games unbeaten in competitions since the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

According to Wenger, Aaron Ramsey’s road to recovery will take a bit longer despite his return to training earlier this week.

The Welshman is now expected to miss Arsenal’s next two fixtures.

“I must say I’m disappointed because he [Ramsey] has worked very hard. He’s at the last stage of building up his fitness and he’s not far away.” Wenger said “Next week will come too early.”

The Arsenal boss has also suggested that a ‘setback’ is what has kept Ramsey out of action for more than two months even though he was supposed to miss only six weeks.

“It’s a bit of a vicious circle. He had a little setback, so we rested him. The longer that lasts, the more time you have to dedicate to build up his fitness again because he has been out for four weeks.” he added

“Then you have to basically create a new three-week preparation to get him up to the level he was at before the injury. It’s more the time it takes to rebuild his fitness.

‘We have decided that we’ll give him a complete pre-season, even if he misses one or two more games.”

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Wenger Confirms: Arsenal star will miss Swansea clash

As Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has confirmed, the Gunners centre-forward Olivier Giroud will miss Arsenal’s clash against Swansea City in the Premier League this weekend.The 30-year-old striker has been struggling with a toe injury in recent weeks and hasn’t featured in Arsenal matches since coming off the bench during Gunners’s 3-0 victory over Chelsea.

The France international is yet to start a game for Arsene Wenger’s side this season and the Arsenal boss confirmed that he will not be involved again for Swansea clash.

During his his pre-match press conference, the French manager provided latest injury updates for his squad: ‘Giroud will not be available.

‘[Aaron] Ramsey will not be available.

‘[Francis] Coquelin is back. Apparently we have good news [from international players].’

Arsene Wenger also provided an upbeat bulletin on the fitness of Arsenal attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil. The 27-year-old Germany international had been substituted at half-time during the world champions’ fixture against Northern Ireland this week but the former Real Madrid playmaker will be available to feature against the Swansea City.



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Arsenal Defender Is Toughest I’ve Faced, Says Rashford

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford says Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny is the toughest defender he has ever faced.

The 18-year-old only made his senior debut for the Red Devils in February but has quickly established himself as one of the hottest talents in the country after making an instant impact in the first team.

After scoring twice on his full debut in the Europa League Rashford again remarkably bagged a double three days later on his Premier League debut as United beat Arsenal 3-2.

Rashford continued making the headlines throughout the end of the season, grabbing the winner at the Etihad and becoming the youngest ever scorer in a Premier League Manchester derby as United beat City.

The striker’s form for Jose Mourinho’s side has also seen him called up to the England team, making his full debut in May and scoring on his first appearance in a 2-1 win at Wembley.

Speaking about his rise to prominence Rashford was asked who is the hardest opponent he has ever come up against and gave the France international the nod.

“I think, individually, it would be Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal. He was a difficult defender to play against,” he told Manchester United’s official website.

Koscielny’s form and consistency ensures he is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and he was part of the France squad that reached the final of Euro 2016, playing in the final defeat to Portugal.

The 31-year-old has blossomed at Arsenal since joining from Lorient and his burgeoning partnership alongside Shkodran Mustafi, the duo have kept clean sheets in the team’s last three games, bodes well for the Gunners’ future.

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Arsene Wenger on Bellerin future; Ramsey absence explained; Xhaka on Premier League

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Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media this morning prior to Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Swansea on Saturday, and was asked about the future of Hector Bellerin. The 21-year-old is quickly developing into one of the world’s best right backs and has been linked with a move back to Barcelona or to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Mathieu Debuchy suffered torn ankle ligaments and then a dislocated shoulder during his first season at the club, which gave Bellerin his chance. Despite a few nervy performances initially, something to be expected, Bellerin has made sure that the French international has not go a look in since. Known for his raw speed, the Spaniard has exponentially improved as a defender and opponents get very little change out of him. Wenger showered him with praise today, stating:

“He has been absolutely fantastic,” Wenger said. “Let’s not forget that in his first game he had a nightmare when I played him, and the year before he was at Watford – he didn’t play.

“His progress has been absolutely spectacular because he has top mental strength.
“I think he loves as well to be here and he has responsibilities already in the dressing room for such a young age. It’s something remarkable.”


 

That ‘nightmare’ Wenger recalled was Arsenal’s 2014 Champions League group stage game away in Borussia Dortmund when Bellerin made his debut. The Gunners lost 2-0 on the night, but the scoreline could have been far heavier as they were run ragged by Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund side. A few weeks later, Arsenal found themselves 3-0 down at half time away at Stoke with Bellerin at right back. However, he has gone from strength to strength since then; a turning point perhaps being his exemplary performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 away win at Manchester City in January 2015. He seems happy in London, though a return to Barcelona must hold some allure. That said, he has plenty of time to make this move later in his career and can continue developing at Arsenal.

Elsewhere, the Arsenal boss finally gave some more details regarding Aaron Ramsey’s extended layoff due to a hamstring problem. The Welshman has been on the sidelines since limping off during Arsenal’s opening weekend defeat to Liverpool and has missed key games for club and country. The initial diagnosis was that the hamstring problem was not too serious, so there were rumours beginning to circle of a problem behind the scenes between player and manager.Wenger though, took the opportunity to clear the issue up:

“He had a little setback, so we rested him. The longer that lasts, the more time you have to dedicate to build up his fitness again because he has been out for four weeks.

“Then you have to basically create a new three-week preparation to get him up to the level he was at before the injury. It’s more the time it takes to rebuild his fitness.

“We have decided that we’ll give him a complete pre-season.”

 

Finally, summer singing Granit Xhaka has admitted that the Premier League is tougher physically than the Bundesliga and that the expectations at Arsenal are far higher than at Borussia Monchengladbach. The Swiss international has been used cautiously by Wenger so far, perhaps because new partnerships were bedding in at the back and up front. The Frenchman places a good deal of stock in the principle of cohesion, and it seems as if he was reluctant to throw in a new midfield partnership on top of all that change. Xhaka has cut a classy presence whenever he has played, and Wenger might look to bed him in now other areas of the team have settled down

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Mesut Ozil is expected to be available for Arsenal vs Swansea – Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insistsMesut Ozil will be available for the game against Swansea City and does not need to be rested for the fixture.

The 27-year-old, who missed the first game of the league season after returning later than most from Euro 2016, jetted off with Germany last week for their World Cup qualifiers.

Ozil played the full 90 minutes against Czech Republic on Saturday as Joachim Low’s side won 3-0, before he started once again in the following game against Northern Ireland on Tuesday night.

From top performer to key weakness: Assessing Arsenal's season so far

However, with the scores at 2-0, Low afforded the Arsenal star a rest at half time and the attacking midfielder has since returned to Colney.

When asked whether Ozil was good to go for the visit of Swansea City on Saturday, Wenger was confident the former Real Madrid man was fully fit and not suffering from any fatigue.

Loew: I'll be keeping an eye on Arsenal now international break is over

Germany manager Joachim Loew has stated he will turn his attentions to the national side's Arsena...

 

"He told us he’s completely fit, I will see him later," Wenger said at his press conference on Thursday. "I expect him to be available - he only played one half so he doesn’t need to be rested."

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Arsenal Trending Today: Ligue 1 duo linked, Real Madrid sensation in wish list


Wenger eyes move for highly-rated teenager Malang Sarr

According to the latest transfer news, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is desperately chasing for the signature of Nice’s highly-rated teenage defender Malang Sarr.

The talented defender, who is just 17 years old, has started every match for the Ligue 1 club so far this campaign, as Lucien Favre’s unbeaten side top the division ahead of AS Monaco and PSG after 8 games.

As per the Italian publication Tuttomercatoweb, AC Milan and Arsenal are both interested in the exciting youngster, claiming Arsene Wenger has already sent his scout to watch the talented youngster in action.

The defender spent 12 years in the Nice youth academy,Malang Sarr made a dream start to his professional career when manager Favre handed him his debut against Rennes on the first game of the season.

After the defender has scored the winning goal on his Man of the Match performance vs Rennes, Sarr took the moment to dedicate his goal to the victims of terror attack in Nice on Bastille Day.

During his interview, he said: ‘I was anticipating Seri’s ball at the far post. I thought I should go there.

‘After that, we had to hold onto our lead. It was a tribute to the victims [of the terrorist attack on Bastille Day]. This was very important for us and I dedicate my goal to them. I’m from this city. It’s hard.’

According to the latest transfer news, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is desperately chasing for the signature of Nice’s highly-rated teenage defender Malang Sarr.

The talented defender, who is just 17 years old, has started every match for the Ligue 1 club so far this campaign, as Lucien Favre’s unbeaten side top the division ahead of AS Monaco and PSG after 8 games.

As per the Italian publication Tuttomercatoweb, AC Milan and Arsenal are both interested in the exciting youngster, claiming Arsene Wenger has already sent his scout to watch the talented youngster in action.

The defender spent 12 years in the Nice youth academy,Malang Sarr made a dream start to his professional career when manager Favre handed him his debut against Rennes on the first game of the season.

After the defender has scored the winning goal on his Man of the Match performance vs Rennes, Sarr took the moment to dedicate his goal to the victims of terror attack in Nice on Bastille Day.

During his interview, he said: ‘I was anticipating Seri’s ball at the far post. I thought I should go there.

‘After that, we had to hold onto our lead. It was a tribute to the victims [of the terrorist attack on Bastille Day]. This was very important for us and I dedicate my goal to them. I’m from this city. It’s hard.’

Arsenal considering audacious move for Los Blancos sensation Llorente

According to the reports from Daily Star, Arsenal are considering move for Real Madrid ace Marcos Llorente.

It has been reported by the Spanish media outlet Don Balon that the Gunners are keeping close tabs on the highly-rated midfield starlet.

The 21-year-old Llorente is currently out on loan at Alaves but is tipped for future stardom. It is believed that Arsenal might be able to tempt the young Spaniard to the Premier League with a bumper contact.

But Zinedine Zidan wants the young midfielder to battle Casemiro for a starting role next season. The Brazilian enforcer is currently out of action after fracturing his left leg. And the injury of the Brazil international woes fuelled speculation that Llorente could be returning to the Santiago Bernabeu as cover.

However, the talented versatile midfielder quashed suggestions that he would cut short his loan stint.

During his interview with Spanish outlet Marca, Llorente said: “My aim is to return in a year’s time.

“Right now my focus in on Alaves. There is no clause that allows me to return in the winter transfer market and that has been said by [Alaves sporting director] Sergio Fernandez.”


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Arsenal Team News: This is why Xhaka and Ramsey will miss Swansea game!

Even though Arsenal and Wales midfielder Ramsey  was supposed to be back before the international break and has already returned to training after being out with a hamstring injury since the opening game of the Premier League season, he will not be fit enough to feature on Saturday when Swansea City and their new manager Bob Bradley come to north London.

Ramsey had previously suffered pain when he tried to again push himself and it was decided that he should take a longer-term approach to his recovery – especially after missing most of the pre-season following Euro 2016 – and he is unlikely to be again rushed back.

According to the Daily Star the Welshman is not ready yet but with plenty of other options available to Arsene Wenger in central midfield, this should not be much of a problem for the Gunners this weekend. In fact, the Frenchman will still have a difficult choice to make and there has been a strong feeling that Granit Xhaka is going to miss out.

The Swiss international has done well for Arsenal in recent weeks and his confidence will be high after getting the captain’s armband for his country for the first time. The problem is that Francis Coquelin is available again after his minor injury problem.

He is back in full first-team training and will be in contention to reclaim his place after missing the last the last two matches with the knee injury he sustained in the 3-0 win against Chelsea.

Not only does Wenger really like the combination of Coquelin and Cazorla in the middle, as proved by him starting them over Xhaka when all were fit, but the combative Frenchman and the sublime Spaniard have not been away on international duty so should be that bit fresher.

The Arsenal boss has to be cautious also about rotating his squad from now on with games coming thick and fast but he will want to get off to a flying start and will expect the Swans to give every effort for their new manager. So will Xhaka have to wait until the Champions League match against Ludogorets on Wednesday for his next game? Time will tale!

The Champions league match against Ludogorets Razgrad next Wednesday is one possible target for Ramsey but the Premier League match against Middlesbrough is more likely, or then the Capital One Cup last 16 tie with Reading.

Although Ramsey is usually an automatic starter, Arsene Wenger has less incentive now than he did on the opening day of the season to accelerate his return. Theo Walcott has once again emerged this season in an attacking role on the right that had been Ramsey’s usual position while Xhaka, Coquelin, and Cazorla have all been in good form in the centre, where Mohamed Elneny is another option.


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