Alex Song
Benfica's Franco Jara controls the ball ahead of Arsenal's Alex Song during their Eusebio Cup match at Luz stadium in Lisbon. REUTERS

Arsenal could be without Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs for Saturday's Premier League opener against Newcastle.

Manager Arsene Wenger's injury crisis deepened during Saturday's 2-1 loss to Benfica in Lisbon as Vermaelen and Gibbs were withdrawn after they both picked up knocks. Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire, Lauren Koscielny, Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri are all also injured.

New signing Gervinho impressed during Arsenal's final pre-season game in Portugal. The £10m forward linked well with Andrey Arshavin and van Persie as the latter opened the scoring for the Gunners.

Benfica fought back in the second-half with goals from Argentina veteran Pablo Aimar and Nolito but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny implored club supporters to take the final scoreline with a pinch of salt.

"I wouldn't pay too much attention to the result against Benfica.

"Players are out but they're just minor knocks. I hope all the key players will be fit for Newcastle."

Wenger made six changes at half-time and the Frenchman suggested his experimentation contributed to his side's poor second-half performance.

"Benfica played well for the full 90 minutes and the second half was a bit one-way traffic. We played well for 45 minutes and, after that, we dropped.

"We missed many players and you could see that in the second half. We got the intensity we wanted, it was a competitive game and we were challenged by a good team who had a lot of experienced players."