Arsenal expected to be without five first-team players for Chelsea clash

Arsenal could be without as many as five first-team players when they take on Chelsea this weekend, as they look to close out their tour of the US with a 100% record.

The Gunners have already earned wins over Everton and Orlando on their travels, as well as beating Nurnberg in Germany before that, and we will now take on our London rivals Chelsea before returning to England.

We look set to remain without five players however, with all of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, Alex Runarsson, Bernd Leno and Emile Smith Rowe all currently nursing injuries.

Ben White could feature having made his return to the bench in our most recent outing, while Fabio Vieira is also believed to be in contention as he eyes his pre-season debut after his move from Porto this summer.

As much as I hope White is ready to get back in action, I’m more than happy for Saliba to get further minutes so that he can integrate into the team more, and it will certainly be interesting to see how he deals with the challenge that Chelsea possess.

This will be our biggest test of pre-season so far, but I still expect the manager to rotate the squad heavily as he prioritises readying his players for the new term over a win over our rivals, although there is no harm in wanting both.

Which players are you hoping will step up in the absence of those injured stars?


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  1. well 2 aren’t first team so no worries there, our American gooner can get a reality check with top class strikers to face ,learning curve.
    As for Tommy , maybe White on the right with Saliba central+Gabriel to get more time together.

    KT looks again to be Nuno , unless Zinchenko gets sorted on time, hopefully
    ESR , well as he doesn’t have a solid position maybe give Vieira ,woah oh a go.
    sorted lol.
    easy from here 🙂

  2. Is Tierney made of glass, injured before the season’s started….enough is enough, cash in

  3. Nuno is close to joining Atalanta on a straight loan deal and Mari could be on his way to Fernebache. I think we could see a back four of White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko against Crystal Palace with Cedric, Holding, Bellerin and Walters as defensive options off the bench.

  4. As it is still pre-season, I will try out Zinchenco and Viera in double 8 and Partey at 6 at a point in the game. If Zinny performs well, I think Arsenal should rather buy another LB to cover for Tierney and a plan B striker. If we have more money, then consider a specialist 6.

  5. I’m hoping to see a back 3 of Saliba, White, Gabriel.
    Cover can be provided from Holding and even Tomi and others if fit.

    WBs would be whoever is fit and not covering elsewhere – possibly including Saka, Zinchenko, AMN if still here, Tavares (who is better as a WB than FB). Cedric too. And ofc Tomi and KT if fit.

    Midfield 3 also can vary – Ode, Partey, Vieira… AMN could have a role to play there if he’d allow it to happen. Martinelli can play on the left of that setup too. Zinchenko at times too, even Pepe.

    Front two Eddie and GJ.

    A key point is that an out and out DM role becomes less important in this formation since 3 CBs can lock up the back gate.

    Beyond the 3CB/2WB base, the other 5 can be set up in various ways, not limited to 3 midfield and 2 up front.

  6. IDontknow, I hope you are correct because it would mean that Xhaka’s services would no longer be required.

  7. Hoping to see how a Saliba and Gabriel partnership fairs against good opponents like Chelsea. Let Odegaard and Vieira feed the 3 headed monster of Jesus, Martinelli, and Saka.

    Love to see Zinchenko replace Xhaka, but Arteta never drops or rotates Xhaka if he’s healthy.

    Bellerin at RB maybe AMN at LB, or both wingbacks if Arteta goes 3 CB’s.

  8. I feel we still need one more deadly option in front and then a box to box midfielder….that can really challenge xhaka…

  9. Leno should get the last chance I think, Saliba and GM, zinchenko and Cedric, partey, Vieira and ode, Saka,Gabi martinelli and Jesus

  10. Let me hope Chelsea don’t do what they did to us last year, kicking our first team players and getting them injury to affect our starting games. And my opinion is we should not play our rivals in preseason bcz they always have a dark heart of injuring our players, look at what Everton did to us.

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