On August 6, Arsenal will play Manchester City in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

The Gunners are worrying about the fitness of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Declan Rice, and Folarin Balogun. All three were absent from Thursday’s 5-3 friendly victory against Barcelona.

Arsenal‘s squad dominated in their last pre-season friendly in the United States. Four different players scored for the team: Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira, and Leandro Trossard (twice).

Although the Gunners played considerably better in their victory against the Spanish giants, Arteta still seemed worried about the status of the injured trio.

Zinchenko missed entire US tour

The Community Shield is next Sunday. Four days before that, the Gunners are playing Monaco in the Emirates Cup. As the championship race progressed, Zinchenko has been out since the beginning of May with a calf injury sustained against Newcastle.

This means he missed out on Arsenal’s whole pre-season, including their trip to the United States. Manchester Evening News and the Daily Mirror suggest that Mikel Arteta is hoping the Ukrainian will return soon. In fact, he has a week to be ready for the Wembley match against his former side.

“Alex had a little muscular issue, unfortunately”, Arteta remarked at a press conference when questioned about the left back. “I think he will be back soon but it’s a shame he hasn’t been with us the whole tour.”

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Declan Rice and Folarin Balogun yet to return to training

In the meanwhile, Rice was injured during training and was unable to play in the game against Barcelona. The record summer addition, who cost the club £105 million, made his debut in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. However, he is questionable for Wednesday’s friendly against Monaco.

“Dec [Rice] had quite a strong kick in training so we didn’t want to take the risk. He wasn’t really comfortable to train yesterday and we decided not to train,” said Arteta.

On the other hand, Folarin Balogun, who also had a foot injury, was the third player who could not participate against Barcelona. Although there have been rumors tying the U.S. international with a transfer, the Spanish boss said he has not been training with the team.

Arteta concluded, “[Balogun] was not available. He has a little foot injury and hasn’t been training with us.”

Photo: IMAGO / Sportimage