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Unai Emery Arsenal

Arsenal will take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park this Sunday in the first gameweek of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

And it looks like Unai Emery could be missing as many as three key players for the season opener.

Arsenal played their final game of the pre-season against Barcelona – a match that they ended up losing 2-1 and speaking after that, the Gunners boss hinted that both Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe could be absentees next weekend.

Lacazette has missed the last two friendlies with an ankle injury and the Gunners will take their time to bring him back to the first team while Nicolas Pepe only joined the Gunners last week after an extended break so there is very little chance of him facing the Magpies.

Unai Emery said: “Hopefully he (Alexandre Lacazette) will be ready for the match against Newcastle.

“The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait. The next few days are going to be important, to see if he can progress with his injury.

“If he is OK for Sunday then perfect…but if not, for the next one.

“Tomorrow [Monday] we are going to train together.

“Each day for him [Nicolas Pepe] is information. We hope he can be available for this [Newcastle] match but with him, I want to be patient.

“He is in the same situation as the other players who have been coming in these last days. With Pepe, it’s [now] better to be training and be working with us.”

Apart from these two players, the manager also claimed that Dani Ceballos had picked up a knock during the Barcelona game and would not be training for the next couple of days.

So there is every chance that the loanee too could miss the visit to St James’ Park on Sunday.

The manager added: “My idea was to play Ceballos for about 20 minutes. He was very sore after Lenglet’s kick and he can’t train for the next few days.”

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