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Arsenal boss Emery ready to unleash Pepe

£72m man could start in Burnley clash at the Emirates Stadium

16 August, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal’s club record signing Nicolas Pepe came off the subs’ bench at Newcastle

UNAI Emery wants to bring the “feelgood” factor to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow (Saturday) when Arsenal tackle Burnley in their first home game of the new Premier League season.

Emery is confident that his charges will follow up their opening day victory at Newcastle by beating the Clarets in the day’s early kick-off. But it won’t be easy as the Gunners welcome a side brimming with confidence after starting their campaign with a 3-0 win over Southampton.

“It’s the first match at home, we are looking forward to meeting our supporters, we are very excited,” said Emery yesterday (Thursday) in the pre-match press conference.

“We have prepared with a lot of work, we know it’s going to be difficult. Burnley are in a good moment, they won 3-0 against Southampton and have had an amazing pre-season.

“We need to be at our best individually and collectively. Above all we need to impose our game plan, be confident and make our supporters feel good.”

Emery will welcome Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac back into the fold after the pair were forced to miss the game at Newcastle due to “security concerns” after they were the victims of an attempted robbery.

Quizzed about the ongoing situation surrounding the players, the Arsenal head coach said: “At the moment they are calm and the club is working with them. We think their mentality is good and their focus is with us. My focus is to be positive and I want to help them to live with normality. For us, for me, first they are a person, then a player.

“They are both good options. I am pleased they are back, of course. Mesut didn’t train yesterday with illness, but he trained today. When they are training consistently, it is good news for us because they can help us. It is positive that they are with us now.”

Fans will have to wait and see if they are going to be treated to an extended look at club record signing Nicolas Pepe. The attacking winger, who joined from French club Lille in a deal worth £72million, came off the bench to get 20 minutes under his belt at Newcastle.

“My decision depends on how they are in training tomorrow, I will decide then,” added Emery when asked if Pepe will make the starting XI. “He is improving with us, he is learning our ideas and styles and understanding his team-mates. Physically he is getting better. He is closer to helping us from the beginning or having an impact in the match.”


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