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Team news; Ozil, Ainsley, Welbeck, Cech

Ozil and Lacazette celebrate against Watford

Here's the latest team news update from our medical team:

Mesut Ozil
Now returned to full training following back spasm.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Now returned to full training following a small fracture to left fibula in August.
Danny Welbeck
Withdrawn from England squad with minor hamstring issue. Being assessed ahead of Leicester City (h) on Monday, October 22.
Petr Cech
Left hamstring injury. Being assessed ahead of Leicester City (h) on Monday, October 22.
Dinos Mavropanos
Groin injury. Expected to return to full training by the end of October.
Laurent Koscielny
Right Achilles tendon repair. Aiming to return to full training in November.



Pictures: Koscielny continues his work outside

Laurent Koscielny

While some of our players were heading back from international duty, those at London Colney were being put through their paces on Wednesday morning.

Laurent Koscielny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mesut Ozil were among those in action - and our club photographer was there to send back these pictures:


International Watch: A complete round-up

Alex Iwobi

Nine first-team and 12 academy players featured for their countries over the international break. Read on to find out how they fared:

Alex Iwobi assisted in Nigeria’s 4-0 African Cup of Nations qualifier over Libya, before playing the entirety of their 3-2 victory in the return leg.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan captained Armenia in their 1-0 loss to Gibraltar, before scoring and assisting twice in their 4-0 Nations League win over Macedonia.

Mohamed Elneny claimed an assist in Egypt’s 4-1 African Cup of Nations qualifier over Swaziland - and he also played the entirety of the their 2-0 victory in the return leg.

Mohamed Elneny

Mohamed Elneny playing for Egypt

Granit Xhaka played 90 minutes of Switzerland’s 2-1 Nations League defeat to Belgium. He also went on to assist Haris Seferovic’s opener in their 2-1 win over Iceland.

Lucas Torreira set up a goal in Uruguay’s 2-1 loss to South Korea, before playing 74 minutes of their 4-3 defeat to Japan.

David Ospina played the entirety of Colombia’s 4-2 win over the USA and their 3-1 win over Costa Rica. 

Aaron Ramsey played 90 minutes of Wales’ 4-1 Nations League defeat to Spain, before withdrawing from the squad that defeated the Republic of Ireland 1-0.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started in Gabon’s 3-0 African Cup of Nations win over South Sudan, but failed to feature in the return leg - a 1-0 victory on the road.

Sokratis played 90 minutes of Greece’s 1-0 Nations League win over Hungary, before withdrawing at half-time in their 2-0 defeat to Finland.

Bernd Leno was an unused substitute in Germany’s 3-0 loss to the Netherlands and 2-1 defeat to France.

Takuma Asano and Danny Welbeck failed to feature for Japan and England respectively after withdrawing through injury.


Reiss Nelson for England under-21s

Reiss Nelson celebrates for England under-21s

Reiss Nelson scored a stunning backheel for England Under-21s in their 7-0 win over Andorra. He also assisted the final goal of the evening, before scoring a 30-yard free-kick in their 2-0 win over Scotland.

Daniel Ballard scored a last-gasp winner for Northern Ireland Under-21s as they picked up a 1-0 victory over Iceland. Our tough-tackling defender then played the entirety of their 1-0 win over Slovakia. 

Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah were on target for England Under-20s as they defeated Italy 2-1. Nketiah broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with a low drive, before Willock doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. Nketiah struck again in their 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic. Willock was an unused substitute. 

Elsewhere, Emile Smith Rowe scored and assisted for England Under-19s as they ran out 4-1 winners over Portugal. Our 18-year-old midfielder then went on to play the entirety of their 6-2 win over Macedonia. 

Nketiah for England U-20s

Eddie Nketiah in action for England under-20s

Tyreece John-Jules converted from the spot in England Under-18s’ 4-0 win over Sweden at St George’s Park, before scoring a 71st-minute equaliser against the Czech Republic to make it 2-2. The game went to penalties and the result was settled by a 5-4 scoreline in England’s favour.

Bukayo Saka, Folarin Balogun and Vontae Daley-Campbell all featured in both of the above fixtures, while Arthur Okonkwo only playedagainst Sweden.

Finally, Sam Greenwood scored in England Under-17s’ 3-1 win over the USA, before scoring and assisting twice in a 3-1 win over Brazil. Yunus Musah also featured in both fixtures.


The detail behind our defensive plans

Most people don’t realise how much work defenders put into studying strikers.

Shkodran Mustafi recently sat down to tell us about just how much analysis is involved in the modern game.
“You focus on little details: if he’s right footed or left footed, if he likes he to dribble at you or if he’s someone who goes direct, short or goes deep,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player. “That’s the detail I’m looking for.
“Obviously, as a defender, you’re focusing on the one you’re playing against and trying to win the battle. That’s what it’s all about on the pitch and it makes it even more difficult for us.
“When you’re on the pitch, you’re kind of nervous until the game starts and then with the first touch it goes a little bit. Most of the time I’m really just thinking of myself and what I want to do because in modern football, if you want to defend, it’s about being an active defender, putting the striker where you want him. Don’t let him decide, you have to make him decide. That’s the thing I’m focusing on.
“As a centre half, we’re a little bit bigger and not as quick as the strikers, and when the opponent is playing with a striker that likes to play a lot of short passes and run quickly down the channels, that’s a thing which for me is really difficult to defend against. It’s no longer one against one, it’s more and you’ve got to be comfortable in the back four and give quick information to your team-mate playing next you.

“When it goes through passes and there are quick one-twos, you can’t defend against it on your own. Until you give your team-mate that information, there’s always one or two seconds where you might lose your opponent and he goes through. That’s the most difficult style you have to play against as a defender.

“Defending is something enjoyable when you defend as a whole team. When you’re compact as a team, defending the loose space and defending in the one against ones, I find that I quite enjoy it because it’s something that I like.”


Internationals: Xhaka assists for Switzerland

Granit Xhaka for Switzerland

Two of our Gunners were in Nations League action on Monday night. Read on to find out who featured:

Granit Xhaka played the entirety of Switzerland 2-1 win over Iceland. Haris Seferovic opened the scoring in the 52nd minute following a perfectly weighted cross by Xhaka, before Michael Lang doubled their advantage from close range. 

With 10 minutes left to play the hosts pulled one back through Alfred Finnbogason, but Switzerland’s defence held on for their second win of the competition.

Elsewhere, Sokratis played 45 minutes of Greece’s 2-0 loss to Finland. Pyry Soiri scored less than a minute after the break, before Glen Kamara rounded off the scoring in the 89th minute. Greece remain on six points in League C, Group Two.


Internationals: Torreira assists for Uruguay


We had five Gunners in international action on Friday. Read on to find out how they fared for their countries.

Lucas Torreira played the entirety of Uruguay’s 2-1 loss to South Korea, assisting La Celeste’s only goal of the game. Hwang Ui-Jo opened the scoring, before Matias Vecino - assisted by Torreira - levelled the scores. Jung Woo-Young fired in 12 minutes from time to secure South Korea’s victory.

Lucas Torreira in action for Uruguay

Sokratis captained Greece to a 1-0 home win over Hungary in the Nations League. Kostas Mitroglou scored the only goal in Athens, having been assisted by left back Konstantinos Tsimikas. 
Granit Xhaka played the entirety of Switzerland’s 2-1 Nations League loss to Belgium. Romelu Lukaku put the hosts in front before Mario Gavranovic levelled the scores from a free-kick. However, Lukaku struck once more to secure the win for the Red Devils.

Granit Xhaka captains Switzerland

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang captained Gabon to a 3-0 win over South Sudan in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Denis Bouanga and Aaron Appidangoye gave Gabon a two-goal lead, before a late goal from Hassan Martin just two minutes from time.

Mohamed Elneny helped Egypt to win their third qualifying match for the Africa Cup of Nations, assisting in a 4-1 win over Swaziland. Ahmed El Mohamady opened the scoring, before Amr Warda doubled the advantage. Elneny then provided the pass for the third goal, enabling Trezeguet to further extend the advantage. Mohamed Salah scored from a corner to make it 4-0, before a late consolation strike reduced the deficit.

David Ospina played the entirety of Colombia’s 4-2 victory over the United States. James Rodriguez gave the visitors the lead on American soil, before Kellyn Acosta and Bradley Wood gave the USA a 2-1 lead. Goals from Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja ensured Colombia picked up the win.


Eight Premier League fixtures rescheduled

Arsenal celebrate at Craven Cottage

Eight of our Premier League fixtures have been rescheduled due to TV selection. 

We can now confirm that the following games will be played as under:

Arsenal v Tottenham 
Sunday, December 2
Kick-off 2.05pm
Live on Sky Sports

Manchester United v Arsenal
Wednesday, December 5
Kick-off 8pm
Live on BT Sport

Southampton v Arsenal
Sunday, December 16
Kick-off 1.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

Arsenal v Burnley 
Saturday, December 22
Kick-off 12.30pm 
Live on Sky Sports

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal
Wednesday, December 26
Kick-off 5.15pm
Live on Sky Sports

Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday, December 29
Kick-off 5.30pm
Live on BT Sport

West Ham United v Arsenal 
Saturday, January 12
Kick-off 12.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

Arsenal v Chelsea
Saturday, January 19
Kick-off 5.30pm
Live on BT Sport