Arsenal team news: 20-year-old set to start against Man City as trio miss out

By on August 10, 2018


Arsenal begin the 2018/19 Premier League campaign by welcoming defending champions Manchester City to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

New boss Unai Emery has held his first pre-match press conference today and the Spaniard has confirmed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to start at left-back against Pep Guardiola’s men this weekend.

Obviously we suffered a huge blow last week after Sead Kolasinac was ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury that he sustained against Chelsea earlier this month.

Nacho Monreal is back in training after recovering from a knock that kept him out of the Lazio game but he’s unlikely to be deemed fit enough so Maitland-Niles is expected to start at left-back.

The 20-year-old has plenty of experience in the position after playing at left-back several times last season and he also started there during the friendly win over Lazio last weekend.

Laurent Koscielny is still working his way back from a serious Achilles injury that he suffered against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals last season.

Danny Welbeck only returned to pre-season training earlier this week following his exploits at the World Cup so the attacker won’t be in contention to face City either.

However, Emery says all the other players are fine and an update on Arsenal.com on Thursday confirmed that Aaron Ramsey was in contention after returning to full training.

Ramsey was forced to miss our friendly with Chelsea last week after picking up a minor calf injury during the pre-match warm-up ahead of the game in Dublin.

The Welsh international wasn’t risked against Lazio on Sunday afternoon but returned to full training this week and is expected to be in contention to start against City this weekend.

Emery told Football London:

“We have Koscielny out with a long injury and then also Kolasinac has a long injury. Nacho Monreal began to train with the team [on Friday]. As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week but on Sunday it will be early to start playing him.

“The other players are OK and we are working on the possibility to work with Ainsley, who has experience in this [left-back] position.

“We want to give him confidence. I am going to decide tomorrow [Saturday] on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”

Emery hasn’t settled on his starting eleven but new signings Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi will all be hoping to make their Premier League debuts this weekend.