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Wenger waits on midfield duo

Arsenal midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta have joined Theo Walcott as fitness concerns for Saturday's Premier League opener against Aston Villa.

Last Updated: 17/08/13 at 14:08 Post Comment

Santi Cazorla: Scored for Spain in their 2-0 win over Ecuador

Santi Cazorla: Scored for Spain in their 2-0 win over Ecuador

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Cazorla scored in Spain's 2-0 friendly win in Ecuador but is not due to arrive back in London until Thursday night, while Arteta is struggling with a thigh complaint.

Walcott scored for England in their 3-2 win over Scotland at Wembley but limped off after 75 minutes with a swollen knee, while Aaron Ramsey pulled out of the Wales squad with an ankle injury and Bacary Sagna suffered a similar problem with France.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: "We have positive news from the players on international duty. All the texts we have had back are okay.

"The games were quite intense, but we hope everyone comes back in good shape.

"Cazorla played almost a full game. He only lands in London tonight (Thursday), so we will see how he is tomorrow.

"Mikel has a slight thigh problem. We have to check that. I don't know if he will be out for the weekend. He has a scan today."

Wenger was already counting to be without Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen (both back) for Saturday's opener.

While Monreal is within a couple of weeks of a return, Vermaelen looks set for a continued spell on the sidelines.

"It is a while longer for him," said Wenger. "It is difficult to put a timescale on it, but it will be a bit longer. He is progressing okay."

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