Teamnews: Four players ruled out of action ahead of Chelsea clash

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Arsenal take on Chelsea on Saturday looking to get their first points of the new Premier League season following their opening day defeat against Manchester City.

The Gunners have a good recent record against the Blues, having gone unbeaten in each of their last six competitive meetings, if you include the 2017 Community Shield.

They also beat them in pre-season thanks to a penalty shootout success in the International Champions Cup following a 1-1 draw in Dublin.

But Unai Emery has some injury concerns going into the game at Stamford Bridge, which will be Maurizio Sarri’s first competitive home game in charge of last season’s FA Cup winners.

Once again Arsenal are struggling at left-back. Injuries to Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac meant that young midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles had to line up on the left hand side of the back four against Manchester City, but he was then forced off before half-time with what appeared to be a nasty looking knee injury.

Speaking after the game, Emery stated he was unclear about that extent of the problem, but it is highly unlikely that the England Under-21 international will be available this weekend.

Monreal has now returned to full training after his own knee injury, but hasn’t played a single minute in pre-season so a decision will be taking just before Saturday’s game to determine whether he will be fit to feature.

If the Spaniard doesn’t make it, experienced right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner will have to fill in – as he did against City when he replaced Maitland-Niles before the break.


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