Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker is set to miss the club’s Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb this week.

The Gunners will travel to Croatia for their first group game of the season, but won’t have the German defender with them.

On Monday, the Daily Star back page has quotes from Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger, who has ruled Mertesacker out of the trip for the game on Wednesday night.

“With Mertesacker, it was a serious condition and he is not ready today to play,” the Arsenal manager said.

“I believe by the end of the week he should be much better.”

The German hasn’t played since Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on the 16th August, but the Gunners need not worry with big games against Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea coming up. Gabriel has played in each of the three games Mertesacker has missed and Arsenal have kept three clean sheets.

In fact, Gabriel has featured in 11 Arsenal games since his move last January and the Gunners are unbeaten, winning 10 and drawing the other one.

Mertesacker surely won’t be thrown in for the clash at Stamford Bridge, but could feature at White Hart Lane next midweek with Arsenal facing Spurs in the League Cup.

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