I am sure that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal coaching staff and medical team will be working as hard as they possibly can over the next week in an attempt to make sure that our German international defender Shkodran Mustafi is fit enough to face Stoke in Arsenal’s second game of the new Premier League season, but I think we have to accept that the German may not be ready.
He has not played at all since helping his national team to lift the Confederations Cup and even if he is fit I do not think Wenger will be too keen to give any player their first minutes in a crucial game at the hostile home of the Potters. I do not think we necessarily need to either, as long as his fellow countryman Per Mertesacker is back in the starting line-up, which he should be.
Laurent Koscielny is definitely not playing as he completes a three match suspension, but despite that I think that our BFG will make that back three of Arsenal work much better, just as he did against Chelsea and all their attacking threat in the Wembley FA cup final.
Holding on one side and Monreal the other will take their cue from the big German and will be much calmer with his experience to guide them, in my opinion, and their pace or lack of it will not be such a problem as it was against the lightning bolt that is Jamie Vardy.
Mertesacker’s aerial ability on set pieces should not be understated either, so do you think this one addition will sort the Arsenal back line out enough for us to get the right result away to our old enemy Stoke?