Arsenal new boys Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski could miss the first games of the season, manager Arsene Wenger has revealed.
The pair have already been given an extended break by Wenger following their appearance in Euro 2012, and it is thought Wenger will give them more time to acclimatise to the English game and the Premier League.
The Gunners (12/1 To Win The Premier League) will already be without Jack Wilshere until October as the England youngster recovers from a series of setbacks that saw him miss all of last season, but have been boosted by the news that Abou Diaby, who also missed the vast majority of the last campaign, will return sooner.
Talking of his new signings, Wenger said: “Podolski and Giroud may take longer than expected. I cannot play them in pre-season, so I will ease them into the Premier League.” Whilst this tactic will enable the newcomers to be at their best when they make their debuts, it could make for an interesting start to Arsenal’s (4/11 To Beat Sunderland on The Opening Day) season.
Wenger’s side face Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City within their opening six games, as well as an opening day fixture against Sunderland (17/2 to Beat Arsenal On The Opening Day) that could prove tricky with a depleted squad.