Football fans, the wait is over! Premier League is finally back after two months and this time, it promises to be an exciting and a thrilling season.
Every team has invested in their squad in a bid to achieve their personal targets and goals. Arsenal and Leicester kick starts the League as they go head to head this Friday, followed by a weekend full of matches to look forward to.
However, like any other sport, there are a few unfortunate players every year who miss out in their team’s opening fixtures due to injury concerns and other various reasons.
And this year is no different, and there are some big names in the list this time round. Let’s have a look at 5 big name players who are out of their respective Match day squads for the opening fixtures of the Premier League season 2017-18 :
1) Alexis Sanchez :
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to see an Arsenal player in the injury list before the commencement of a Premier League Season.
This time it’s Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez who misses Arsenal’s season opener against Leicester City due to an abdominal injury. Sánchez sat out the Gunners’ victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield after picking up the injury on the day of the match.
“Alexis will not be available,” said Wenger. “He has a little abdominal strain that he caught on Sunday morning in training, before he came to Wembley.
He had a scan two days ago and he’s out for a while. I don’t know if it is two weeks or one more week but he will not be available. I think he will not play at Stoke, yes. For us Alexis Sánchez is a loss, of course,” he added.
“But we have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready. It can happen in pre-season and anyway I don’t think I would have included him on Friday night. I don’t think I would have started him.”
Sanchez was given additional off days after helping Chile reach the Confederations Cup Final earlier this summer.
He subsequently fell ill and didn’t report for training for a few more days, and his absence for Arsenal’s first few games will only add fuel to the speculation surrounding the Chilean’s future at the club.
Sanchez has just one year remaining in his contract with the London club and despite interest from Manchester City and Paris St.Germain, Wenger has insisted the 28-year-old will not be sold and instead “will respect” his decision.
2) Eden Hazard :
Defending Premier League Champions Chelsea had announced earlier this June that it would be three more months before their star player Eden Hazard could start training with the club again following a right ankle injury attained while on international duty with Belgium.
It comes as a massive blow to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte , for the 26 year old is unlikely to be a part of the match day squad till October as the Blues get ready to defend their title in what promises to be an exciting Premier League season.
However, Eden Hazard has given the Italian a much needed boost after he was able to take part in a light training ahead of schedule and could be in line to return to action much earlier than expected.
At least that’s what Conte will be hoping for , as Hazard has been in wonderful form over the last year and his absence can affect how Chelsea fare this season.
3) Ilkay Gundogan :
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will play no part in City’s opener against Brighton this weekend. Gundogan tore cruciate knee ligaments in December to bring an end to a promising start to his City career, which led to the surprising return of Yaya Toure to the first team who was widely expected to move away from the club.
This injury followed after a dislocated kneecap which forced him to miss Euro 2016 and the start of his first Blues campaign, and a back problem that required surgery and saw him out for nearly a year from 2013.
When asked about his return to the field, the German has refused to give an exact date , but has revealed that he is close to full fitness. Gundogan said that such difficulties take their toll: “It is heavy mentally to accept that,” he told BBC Sport .
“It is really hard always to fall and fight your way back. You feel good and feel ready, then you get the next kick.“The worst part is behind me now. I want to feel ready when I am fully back. I want to feel safe and confident. I don’t mind if it is two weeks or six.” He had said.
4) Tiemoue Bakayoko :
Looks like the Blues fans’ have to wait for a while to see their new signing in action as Antonio Conte confirmed that Bakayoko will play no part in Chelsea’s season opener against Burnley.
Chelsea signed Bakayoko from Monaco in a £40m deal this summer, but were left without the midfielder for their pre-season tour of the Far East after he underwent surgery on a minor knee injury at the end of the last campaign.
When asked about the Frenchman’s availability , as well as commenting on Hazard’s fitness, Conte said: “They(Bakayoko and Hazard) are working hard to recover but they are not available for tomorrow’s game.
“We have to wait and be patient. They ae improving a lot and are recovering well from their injuries but they are not still ready to start the season.” the Italian added.
This comes as a blow to Conte having already lost a key midfielder in the form of Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United , leaving only N’Golo Kante and Fabregas as the only two experienced midfielders in the squad.
5) Adam Lallana :
It’s been bad enough that Liverpool’s star midfielder Coutinho is being linked with a move to Barcelona, as well as Liverpool’s failed bid to bring Nabi Keita from Bundesliga side RB Leipzeig. To make matters worse, Adam Lallana has still not recovered from his sustained couple of months ago.
Speaking about the news, Klopp said he anticipated that the 29-year-old would miss August and September with the knock, which was sustained during the friendly win over Bayern Munich.
“This is certainly not news we would have wanted,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official site. “Unfortunately, the damage is such that it will likely mean Adam is out for a couple of months not weeks, so I think we can pretty much rule him out of August and September.
‘Beyond that we will monitor and wait and see. He is a boy with a world-class attitude to everything professionally and he has always come back in good time from injury setbacks since I have been here, so we will see.”
The England international has been a consistent performer for Liverpool ever since he made from Southampton , and has been particularly impressive last season as he played a key role in Liverpool reaching the top 4 .