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Arsenal blow as Wenger confirms key trio will miss Liverpool opener

PUBLISHED: 18:10 28 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 07 September 2010

ARSENAL will potentially be without three key players for their Premier League opener at Liverpool that is now just two weeks away. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Nicklas Bendtner s groin problem will rule him out for the first few games of the season.

ARSENAL will potentially be without three key players for their Premier League opener at Liverpool that is now just two weeks away.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Nicklas Bendtner's groin problem will rule him out for the first few games of the season.

Meanwhile captain Cesc Fabregas and striker Robin van Persie, who both played in the World Cup final on July 11, will not return to training until next week and are also doubts for the game at Anfield on August 15.

"Bendtner will not be available for the start of the season," said Wenger after Tuesday's 4-0 win over Austrian part-timers SC Neusiedl 1919. "We don't know [how bad it is].

"Fabregas and Van Persie are due to come back on August 5 and from then on we will see how much build-up work is needed physically and as well how they have recovered mentally from the World Cup.

"They might be short for the first game [of the season] but I don't know, that will depend on the fitness work they have done during the holiday."

However the Gunners' boss did have better news on midfield duo Denilson and Abou Diaby, who are both yet to appear in pre-season but should play in the friendly in Poland against Legia Warsaw on August 7.

"Denilson should be [fit] - maybe not for the Emirates Cup but for the Warsaw game and Diaby as well.

Marouane Chamakh grabbed his first goal in an Arsenal shirt in the win against Neusiedl that completed Arsenal's Austrian pre-season tour on Tuesday night.

Chamakh struck five minutes into the second half when he pulled clear of the Neusiedil defence only to be dragged down by Markus Dombi, and the Morocco international picked himself up to convert from the spot.

By that time Arsenal were already two goals to the good thanks to strikes from Theo Walcott and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, as they wrapped up their Austrian training camp preparations with the easiest of victories.

Carlos Vela added a fourth goal, while there was a momentary scare for the Gunners when Havard Nordveit handled, but Juray Skripec saw his penalty saved by Vito Mannone.

In truth, Arsenal were rarely troubled; Jack Wilshere having an early penalty appeal waved away and Andrey Arshavin firing a shot at the keeper.

Walcott had a shot blocked, but it was the England international who opened the scoring soon afterwards, picking up a pass from Samir Nasri and firing home.

Emmanuel-Thomas added a second just past the half hour, scoring on the turn, and five minutes after the restart it was 3-0 courtesy of Chamakh.

The fourth goal duly followed, Nasri cleverly releasing Vela through on goal, and he lifted a delicate chip over the stranded Austrian keeper.

Seconds later, Neusiedl had their chance to respond, but Mannone stole the spotlight with a fine save to preserve his clean sheet and underline an impressive Arsenal performance.


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