Aaron Ramsey is unlikely to play in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Leicester City due to a calf injury, while Mesut Ozil is also in doubt for the Emirates Stadium clash.
Attacking midfield duo Ramsey and Ozil missed Sunday’s Community Shield showdown with Chelsea at Wembley, where new Arsenal signing Sead Kolasinac cancelled out Victor Moses’ opener to seal a 1-1 draw, after Pedro was sent off for the Premier League champions.
Under the ‘ABBA’ penalty shoot-out trial, Arsenal won 4-1, as Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and record signing Alvaro Morata missed from 12 yards.
Wenger called for Arsenal to take encouragement from the result, but to guard against the early season stumbles that have hindered them in recent years, although they might have to make do without two key performers.
‘Mesut got a kick on his ankle and it is swollen. He couldn’t practice and he couldn’t play,’ Wenger told a news conference.
‘Overall, we’ll see – he has a little chance to play on Friday night. Ramsey has a chance to play, but he could be short as well. He has a little calf problem.’
On besting Chelsea at the national stadium, as Arsenal did in the FA Cup final two-and-a-half months ago, Wenger added: ‘It’s an encouragement, it’s no more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of this game, and the urgency that every Premier League game demands.
‘We’ve had some bad starts over the last four years in the first games in the Premier League, but we have the intensity in our preparations that we need to be ready.
‘Let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit and see where we can go. You have seven or eight teams who will say, “we can win it, the Premier League”, so that makes it very interesting.
‘Chelsea will be there again, they are a top-quality team. You cannot discount Chelsea.’
– This story originally appeared on FourFourTwo.co.za
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