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Premier League | Gameweek 1
Aug 5, 2022 at 8pm UK
Selhurst Park
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Crystal Palace
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Emile Smith Rowe 'to miss Arsenal's Premier League opener with Crystal Palace'

Emile Smith Rowe 'to miss Arsenal's Premier League opener with Crystal Palace'
© Reuters
Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe is reportedly set to miss Friday's Premier League opener with Crystal Palace due to a groin injury.

Arsenal are reportedly set to be without Emile Smith Rowe for their opening Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace on Friday night.

The 21-year-old forced his way into Mikel Arteta's starting lineup on a regular basis last term and registered 11 goals and two assists from 37 appearances in all competitions.

Smith Rowe found the back of the net 10 times in the Premier League, but he notably struggled to hit full fitness in the second half of the campaign and was often consigned to the bench by Gabriel Martinelli.

The England Under-21 international was also involved in international exploits following the end of the domestic season and has been nursing a muscular problem in pre-season.

Arsenal will kick off the new Premier League season against the Eagles this Friday, but according to PA Sport journalist Mark Mann-Bryans, injury will prevent Smith Rowe from turning out.

Emile Smith Rowe in action for England in November 2021© Reuters

"Emile Smith Rowe not fit for the start of the new Premier League season. Groin injury keeps him out but is due back in full training at some stage next week," Mann-Bryans wrote on Twitter.

As a result, Smith Rowe will hope to be fit for the showdown with Leicester City on August 13, and he is not the only injury concern for Arteta ahead of the opening day.

New signing Fabio Vieira is yet to experience his first taste of action with Arsenal due to an ankle problem and is also a major doubt for the showdown with Patrick Vieira's side.

Left-back Kieran Tierney has featured in pre-season after recovering from knee surgery but has now picked up another problem in the same area, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is also nursing a thigh issue.

As a result, Ben White could start at right-back for Arsenal against the Eagles, with new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko making his competitive debut on the left-hand side.

Kieran Tierney in action for Arsenal on July 8, 2022© Reuters

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes would therefore pair up in the heart of the backline, as Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka feature in the attack.

Gabriel Jesus should also be handed his first competitive start in red and white, with Matt Turner and Marquinhos occupying spots on the bench.

Ahead of Friday's opening Premier League fixture, Arsenal have announced that Bernd Leno has joined Fulham in an £8m deal, but the Gunners will only receive an upfront fee of £3m.

Lucas Torreira is also expected to complete a switch to Galatasaray, while an announcement on Folarin Balogun's loan to Ligue 1 side Reims is thought to be imminent.

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