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Arsenal set to be without pair of defenders for opening Premier League clashes

Arsenal set to be without pair of defenders for opening Premier League clashes

Arsenal’s tough start

Arsenal are set to open the 2021/22 season with a tricky run of fixtures.

The Gunners host Brentford on Friday August 13th, expected to be a tough test even for the least superstitious fan. Following that, they host London rivals Chelsea, before Mikel Arteta takes his side to take on Manchester City and former mentor Pep Guardiola before the first international break.

Defensive shortages?

Arteta, who has led Arsenal to back-to-back eighth-placed finishes during his time in charge, will be under immediate scrutiny should the side fail to impress, even against such quality opposition.

He will have to plan without several members of his first-team squad too, with central defensive pair Gabriel and William Saliba both on their way to represent their respective countries at the belated Toyko Olympic games.

With just one week off before returning to club football, it seems unlikely that either will be back up to full sharpness before the September international break, meaning the defenders will both probably miss the three Premier League fixtures specified above.

This would leave the Gunners with Pablo Mari as the only recognised left centre-back, whilst Rob Holding is the only current option at right centre-back, although Calum Chambers can also feature there.

This headache could be eased somewhat in the coming days, however, with Brighton’s Ben White set to join the club, as per multiple reports.

This would give Arsenal more cover in this area, especially with the departure of Konstantinos Mavropanos to Stuttgart having kicked off what is expected to be a busy summer for the North London club.

Forward Gabriel Martinelli may also find himself called up to the Brazil squad after late developments, although this is yet to be confirmed. Fortunately from an Arsenal standpoint, more cover is available in the wide areas to compensate for the potential loss of their young starlet.

Read more:

One in, one out? As Arsenal close on Lokonga, Aston Villa prepare improved Smith Rowe bid(Opens in a new browser tab)

Mikel Arteta’s stance on Arsenal defender Rob Holding revealed ahead of 2021/22 season(Opens in a new browser tab)


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Arsenal vs Aston Villa odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Full time result
Arsenal
17/20
Draw
13/5
Aston Villa
3/1
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Result/Both teams score Yes No
Arsenal 11/4 11/5
Aston Villa 13/2
Draw 15/4 10/1
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Correct Score
Arsenal
Aston Villa
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang15/8 15/8 21/20
Eddie Nketiah11/4 11/4 7/4
Alexandre Lacazette3/1 3/1 7/4
Danny Ings3/1 3/1 21/10
Folarin Balogun3/1 3/1 7/4

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