Iwobi and Bielik train with first-team prior to West Ham game


The Arsenal first-team squad completed their final training session this morning ahead of tomorrow’s opening Premier League fixture at home to West Ham United.

Youngsters Alex Iwobi and Krystian Bielik trained with the squad. The Gunners were without the injured trio of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky, but Alexis Sanchez, back from the Copa America, played a full part in the session and has a chance of making the bench for tomorrow’s game.

If Sanchez isn’t selected then Iwobi is expected to be amongst the substitutes once more, with the 19-year-old having been part of the squad for the Community Shield at Wembley last weekend.

Joel Campbell is due back in training soon after representing Costa Rica this summer.

Arsene Wenger’s team selection for tomorrow’s game will be interesting. Petr Cech is a certainty to start in goal, whilst the back four should be comprised of Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal.

Ahead of them Francis Coquelin is set to start in defensive-midfield, but it will be intriguing to see who Wenger opts to deploy alongside the Frenchman. Santi Cazorla occupied that position for much of last season, but against Chelsea Aaron Ramsey played centrally, with Cazorla out wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hopeful of retaining his place on the right wing after he scored the winner against Jose Mourinho’s team, whilst Mesut Ozil should continue in the central attacking-midfield position.

Up front Wenger must again decide between Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, with the latter determined to regain his place in the starting line-up.

As far as the substitutes are concerned, David Ospina could make the squad after returning to full sharpness, whilst Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel, Mathieu Debuchy and club captain Mikel Arteta should also be kept in reserve, along with one of Giroud and Walcott and either Sanchez or Iwobi.

Some senior players will again have to be left out of the squad entirely, with Emiliano Martinez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Flamini the most likely candidates for exclusion.

Players in training today: Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Arteta, Ozil, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Sanchez, Monreal, Cazorla, Flamini, Chambers, Bellerin, Martinez, Cech, Coquelin, Iwobi, Bielik.

Possible team:

Cech

Bellerin-Mertesacker-Koscielny-Monreal

Ramsey-Coquelin

Oxlade Chamberlain-Ozil-Cazorla

Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Gabriel, Arteta, Walcott, Iwobi. 

4 comments

  1. I still can’t understand what is going on with wellington, he doesn’t appear to be training with the first team, he was excluded from the u21 team photo, yet appears to be as happy as Larry training on his own in the gym???

    Unless he has an injury, surely he cannot be so unfit that he cannot be part of training with either group? He must fell like an outcast, but every picture you see of him he is smiling and working hard. Just don’t get it.

  2. Jeorge, do you know what the deal is with Bielik? He seems to train with the first team on a regular basis but didn’t make the squad for Singapore or the Emirates cup or make the Durban tournament. It just seems odd to have him training at that level but not really getting many games at any level.

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