There remain a number of question marks around Arsenal’s makeup for the new season. Have they seen the last of Alexis Sánchez? When will they be able to field their first-choice defence? But it still appears to be a more stable environment than the one in which they began last season. They lost, crucially as it turned out, to Liverpool on the opening day; Arsène Wenger knows a fast start is important this time around to make the idea of a new beginning more sellable and he will be buoyed by aspects of the Community Shield performance against Chelsea. His team look especially lively down the flanks: can they conjure up a nerve-settling early goal for their big signing, Alexandre Lacazette, or will Leicester’s own new boy Kelechi Iheanacho steal the show?
PROBABLE LINE UPS.
Holding Mertesacker Monreal
Bellerin Xhaka El neny OX
Iwobi. Lacazette Welbeck.
Mahrez. Okazaki. Albrighton
Kick-off: Friday, 7.45pm
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Last season: Arsenal 1 vs Leicester City 0
Referee: Mike Dean
Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Chambers, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Özil, Nelson, Reine-Adélaïde, Walcott, Pérez, Giroud
Doubtful: Mertesacker (head), Mustafi (match fitness), Özil (ankle), Ramsey (calf)
Injured: Sánchez (abdomen, 27 Aug), Cazorla (calf, unknown), Gabriel (knee, unknown)
Suspended: Koscielny (second of three games)
Discipline (last season): Y67 R3
Leading scorer (last season): Sánchez 24
Subs: Jakupovic, Hamer, Gray, Iheanacho, Chilwell, King, Musa, Lawrence, Amartey, Ulloa, Benalouane
Injured: Drinkwater (thigh, 19 Aug), Huth (match fitness, 26 Aug), Iborra (groin, 26 Aug)
Discipline (last season): Y72 R1
Leading scorer (last season) Vardy 13
Article By: Dare Ayinde