Injury crisis again Haunting Arsenal

Injury crisis is certainly not a term new to Arsenal since the club has gone through several such periods in the last few years.

However, they have rarely started a new campaign in such difficult situations. They will be heading into the opening match of the season – against Liverpool – without a senior centre back in the squad. A lengthy injury list means that Wenger is likely to use Callum Chambers and Rob Holding as his preferred centre back combination. It will be a huge gamble on the part of the Frenchman given that Liverpool have been looking brilliant in pre-season.

After having scored four goals against Barcelona in a pre-season friendly game, the attackers at Liverpool will feel extremely confident taking on an inexperienced Arsenal backline. Being on the defensive has been something new to Arsenal of late, but it is a tactic that they cannot adopt during the weekend since the game is at the Emirates stadium. Letting down the home supporters on the opening day of the season by playing a very defensive kind of football is against everything Wenger has stood for in recent years. Despite the obvious difficulties, the Frenchman is remaining confident that his team can achieve a positive opening.

"I have a few options at the back that you have seen in pre-season. It's basically the players we have available, that are quite young. But they want to do well. Rob [Holding] has played in the Championship. That's a good experience for a centre-back, to deal with one level higher. Mertesacker is out for I believe four months. Gabriel is six to eight weeks. It's a bit better than expected because he doesn't need surgery. He's ruptured his ankle ligaments and we thought it could be four months but it's not that long," said Wenger.