Arsenal hit by defensive injury crisis just weeks before new season as Arteta confirms problems with FIVE players | The SunJuly 17, 2022
ARSENAL could be missing five first-team players for their opening day clash against Crystal Palace.
Mikel Arteta revealed defenders Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White could all be absent.
Tomiyasu and White are doubts while Tierney, who missed the last 10 games of last season, suffered a recurrence of his knee injury in a friendly earlier this month.
Arteta could also be without two key creative outlets in Emile Smith Rowe and summer signing Fabio Vieira.
Smith Rowe has a muscle problem so is perhaps more likely to be available for selection than Vieira who has a bone issue.
The midfielder was spotted in a protective boot at the beginning of the month and is yet to start training with his new team-mates.
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Arteta shared an update saying: "We have Kieran [Tierney] with a slight problem, we have Emile [Smith Rowe] with a muscular niggle, Tomiyasu as well and Ben [White].
"[Fabio] Vieira has a slight problem in his bone, hopefully he will start to train in the next week or so."
Arsenal's injury crisis is a repeat of the beginning of last season, when injury and covid absences caused Arteta to field a weakened team in an opening day defeat to Brentford.
Two more defeats followed for the Gunners against Chelsea and Manchester City before the likes of Gabriel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to the team.
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To make matters worse Arsenal face a tricky opening day trip to Crystal Palace – a team they have beaten only once in their last eight meetings.
Arsenal then welcome Leicester for their first home match before facing Premier League newboys Bournemouth and Fulham.
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