Arsene Wenger has explained the absence of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in Arsenal’s squad to face Chelsea in the Community Shield.
Sanchez missed a large part of the club’s pre-season schedule after being given an extended break following the Confederations Cup.
The Chilean also played no part in the Emirates Cup due to illness and Wenger said he is not yet ready to turn out for the Gunners.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of the Community Shield clash, Wenger said: ‘Alexis is here but it’s too short [for him to play.]
‘Mesut has an ankle problem. Aaron Ramsey has a slight calf problem that we need to protect so these three are not available.’
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 6, 2017
France international Laurent Koscielny is also missing for the north London outfit, who beat Chelsea at Wembley three months ago in the FA Cup final.
Koscielny is suspended for the first two Premier League games of the season and Wenger said this was the reason he was left out of the Community Shield clash.
‘He’s suspended for the first two games so we need to find a solution without him for the start of the season,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Chelsea summer signing Alvaro Morata will start on the bench with Antonio Conte giving Michy Batshuayi another chance to impress in his starting XI.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 6, 2017
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Belgium international Eden Hazard and fellow summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko are sidelined through injury but both are in attendance to support the Premier League champions.