Arsenal played their final friendly of the World Cup break against Luton Town on Wednesday, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli returning to the pitch.
Other than William Saliba and the injured group, after last weekend Arsenal were only waiting on Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli to return to action following the World Cup.
Though the Gunners played the last of their public friendlies on Saturday, they still had one more behind-closed-doors game against Luton Town on Wednesday, giving Saka and Martinelli the chance to start.
The two wingers started either side of Eddie Nketiah, with Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, and Martin Odegaard in midfield, and Aaron Ramsdale in goal.
The only area where Arsenal weren’t quite full strength was in defence, with Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes joined by Rob Holding and Cedric Soares at right-back.
Saliba is still away with France, and Kieran Tierney was reportedly rested. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu still aren’t at full fitness following their recent injuries.
Saka and Martinelli had a couple of chances in the opening 45 minutes, and Partey had a shot blocked, but the wide duo came off at the half-time break in a pre-planned change. The fans will hope they’ve done enough to be ready for Monday’s game.
Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira took their place, and Marquinhos created a great chance for Xhaka, who put it just wide. Marquinhos then had an opportunity of his own, forcing a big save.
Luton provided some threat themselves, causing problems for Ramsdale in the first half and Matt Turner in the second half, though they couldn’t break the deadlock either.
As the second half went on, Lino Sousa, Taylor Foran, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny, Amario Cozier-Duberry, and Catalin Cirjan all got chances, but the match finished 0-0.
Arsenal lineup vs Luton Town
Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah
Turner (for Ramsdale), Sousa (for White), Foran (for Gabriel), Lokonga (for Partey), Elneny (for Xhaka), Cozier-Duberry (for Odegaard), Vieira (for Saka), Marquinhos (for Martinelli), Cirjan (for Nketiah), Sagoe Jr.
Arsenal World Cup roundup (times in GMT)
- November 13th-November 27th – Time off
- November 28th – Return to training
- December 3rd – Arsenal 2-4 Watford (London Colney)
- December 4th – Travel to Dubai for a warm-weather camp
- December 8th – Arsenal 3-0 Lyon (Al Maktoum Stadium)
- December 13th – Arsenal 2-1 Milan (Al Maktoum Stadium)
- December 14th – Travel back to London
- December 17th – Arsenal 0-2 Juventus (Emirates Stadium)
- December 21st – Arsenal 0-0 Luton Town (London Colney)
- December 26th – The Premier League returns