Newcastle United could be without the influential Matt Ritchie when Arsenal arrive for the sides’ Premier League opener next weekend.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Hibernian and Newcastle United at Easter Road on July 30, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JULY 30: Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Hibernian and Newcastle United at Easter Road on July 30, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old provided eight Premier League assists last season, mostly from the position of left-back.

He is out with a hamstring injury that he picked up against Hibs in pre-season that already caused him to miss out on Newcastle’s 2-1 win over William Saliba’s St Etienne on Saturday.

Mathieu Debuchy scored St Etienne’s only goal and Saliba played 62 minutes before being replaced by Harold Moukoudi with his side 1-0 down.

https://twitter.com/Site_Evect/status/1157713527097815040

“He [Ritchie] was more positive before than he is today [of playing against Arsenal],” Newcastle manager Steve Bruce told reporters after the game.

“We’ll see how he is in eight days’ time.

“We’ve scanned it, we don’t think it’s too serious but it’s going to be a big shout to be ready for next week.”

Arsenal will be hoping to avoid any injuries when they play Barcelona in their final pre-season match of the summer on Sunday evening.

arsenal off to barcelona
Jetting off to Spain…image via @Arsenal

The Gunners, who flew into Barcelona this afternoon and will return straight after the game, welcomed Rob Holding back onto the pitch when he played for the u23s on Saturday.

rob holding return
via @Arsenal

According to Arseblog, the club have him penciled in for a return against Watford in mid-September.

Alex Iwobi, meanwhile, is also likely to miss the game against Newcastle as he has yet to return to Arsenal following his Africa Cup of Nations exploits.

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