Arsenal will be without the quartet of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil for the Gunners' opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday (14 August). The former is injured and has been ruled out for four months, while the latter three are yet to return to pre-season training and hence will be short of match fitness to take part in the game against Jurgen Klopp's team.
Arsene Wenger confirmed the quartet's absence following the north London club's 8-0 demolition of Norwegian club Viking FK in their first pre-season game in Scandinavia, but indicated that Jack Wilshere could be fit for the start of the season after missing the trip owing to a knee injury. The French manager was also delighted to see Santi Cazorla come through unscathed after the Spaniard played his first full 90 minutes since November 2015 and could start the game against the Reds next weekend.
"It's the first time he's played 90 minutes for a long, long time because he's basically been out since November. He played the last game of the season and 90 minutes today. Let's see how he recovers from that. Of course we need him back in good shape," Wenger said after watching his team score eight goals against Viking FK, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
"He's a pleasure to watch, especially when it's a demonstration like tonight. He's one of the few players that you don't know whether they're right or left footed. It's good that he came through well. We have no injuries tonight so that's positive."
Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, who are yet to make an appearance for Arsenal this pre-season, had to be content with a place on the bench and the manager was not willing to risk them after just one week of training with the first-team. Wenger, however, confirmed that the duo will play when the Gunners take on Manchester City on Sunday (7 August).