The XI: Barnet vs Arsenal
Yes, The XI is back in time for the 2010/11 season.
Members of the first-team who are certain to be available for the pre-season opener on Saturday are; Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Thomas Vermaelen, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Johan Djourou, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Laurent Koscielny, Armand Traore, Eduardo and Kieran Gibbs.
Sagna, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Eboue, Bendtner, Vela and Van Persie are all taking short holidays after their World Cup participation.
Preferred line-up (first-team turn):
No-one’s participation is guaranteed on Saturday. However it is expected that the Arsenal squad will consist of younger players and some of the senior stars who have already started pre-season training.
Players like Djourou, Gibbs (who were out of action for most of last season), Chamakh and if possible, Koscielny have to be seen in action.
Nasri can be tried in the Fabregas role, while Walcott can be tested in a more central position upfront in a check of the 4-4-2 formation.