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EPL: Arsenal confirms 7 players to miss Fulham clash

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Arsenal have confirmed that the likes of David Luiz, Emile Smith Rowe, Sokratis, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and Shkodran Mustafi will all miss their Premier League opener clash against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

According to a statement released through Arsenal’s official website on Friday, Luiz, Emile, Sokratis, Chambers, Mari, Martinelli and Mustafi are all currently injured.

Arsenal head to the game following a 3-2 friendly defeat against Aston Villa last Saturday.

The statement read: “David Luiz – Neck spasm. Currently being assessed and undergoing treatment with good response. Will miss Saturday’s match at Fulham.

“Emile Smith Rowe – Sustained an injury to his right shoulder in training. Protective sling will be removed by the end of next week and aiming to integrate back into training soon afterwards.

“Sokratis – Right calf. Sustained mild strain to right calf in training. Will miss Saturday’s match at Fulham. Aiming to integrate back into full training within the next week.

Calum Chambers – Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee against Chelsea on December 29.

“Pablo Mari – Left ankle. Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments against Manchester City on June 17.

“Gabriel Martinelli – Left knee. Sustained injury during training on June 21.

“Shkodran Mustafi – Right hamstring sustained during FA Cup semi-final on July 18.”

The match’s kick-off time is 12:30 pm, at Craven Cottage.

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LaLiga: Why David Luiz did not join Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal

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Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was keen to bring David Luiz to the club this summer, but the club never tabled an offer for the player, Globo reports.

Ancelotti is believed to have made contact with Luiz, who he worked together with at Chelsea.

The 34-year-old became a free agent this summer, having seen his contract with Arsenal expire at the end of June.

However, he has now returned to his native Brazil to sign with Flamengo, putting pen to paper on a 15-month contract.

It ended Luiz’s 15-year playing career in Europe.

But things would have been different if Madrid presented an offer for the experienced centre back.

The LaLiga giants allowed captain Sergio Ramos leave this summer, while Raphael Varane signed for Manchester United.

David Alaba arrived at the Bernabeu on a free transfer over the summer, but the La Liga giants are said to be determined to bring another centre-back to the club in 2022.

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Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma tipped to win title

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Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, has said Roma are title contenders under new manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho won the Treble at Inter Milan under Moratti during his first spell in Italy.

According to Moratti, his return to Serie A makes Roma one of the teams to watch out for.

“I follow the league with great attention.

“Mourinho has revived the competition, he started very well.

“Serie A has one more team, Roma, who will aim for the title. Someone like Mourinho is not aiming for third place,” Moratti said.

Mourinho only joined Roma this year, after he was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager.

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2022 WORLD CUP Salah Among Absentees as African Qualifying Resumes

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Africa’s second round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is set to kick off with some notable absentees – Mohamed Salah, among them – after the refusal of British clubs to release players for various matches.

Premier League clubs have led the way in refusing permission for players to head to countries on the British government’s Covid red list, which would require 10 days of quarantine upon their return.

With Egypt one of 17 African countries on the red list, Liverpool superstar Salah will miss this week’s home match against Angola in Cairo but could play in Gabon, which is not on the list, next week.

Quarantine conditions meant he could have been one of several internationals to miss multiple games, said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“As clubs we cannot do that – not only because we play games in that time, but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training,” he said.

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