Arsene Wenger rules trio out of Premier League opener

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Arsenal's World Cup winners Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker will miss the opening game of the Premier League season so that the German trio can recover from their summer of triumph in South America.

Özil played in all seven of Germany's World Cup games in Brazil, whilst Mertesacker played 6 games and Lukas Podolski only featured twice.

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Long-term aims

The trio will not return to pre-season training until August 11, just five days before the club's Premier League campaign kicks off with the visit of Crystal Palace to the Emirates.

The Germans will also miss the Emirates Cup and the Community Shield match against Manchester City on August 10th.

Wenger has hinted that Per Mertesacker could feature in the Champions League qualifier, which follows the Crystal Palace fixture.

Wenger not worried

Arsene Wenger said in a recent interview with Sky Sports: "I've given them a good break because I’ve experience of players who have been far in the World Cup. You need a rest.

"Will they be ready? I think Mertesacker certainly because he prepares individually very well. They have a little chance. "For the first game I don't think they will be ready for August 16. They come back beginning on August 11. All three."

Arsenal's pre-season friendly against the New York Red Bulls gave an indication as to how far their preparations for the new campaign have got to go, with a 1-0 defeat featuring the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky, stars who played no part in the World Cup finals.

The Gunners have been busy in the transfer market though, snapping up Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and most recently Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina in a bid to build a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

Ozil, Podolski and Mertesacker will be key to that effort though, with patience required to get three key figures back to form and fitness and September very much the target for the trio to start shining again at club level.

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