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Arsenal’s Cech gets nod for Bridge clash

Goalkeeper set to face Chelsea as Gunners’ new signing Leno is made to wait

16 August, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal boss Unai Emery praised Petr Cech’s performance in Sunday’s defeat against Man City

ARSENAL head coach Unai Emery looks set to name Petr Cech to play against his old club on Saturday after praising the “experience” that the goalkeeper brings to the team.

Despite making a string of fine saves on Sunday, Cech couldn’t prevent the Gunners starting their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 defeat against champions Manchester City.

The 36-year-old survived a heart-stopping moment in the first half when he almost scored an own-goal, leading some to ask why summer signing Bernd Leno didn’t start between the sticks.

Emery, however, said he was pleased with the performance that Cech put in at the Emirates Stadium, hinting that he was ready to stick with him as his number one when Arsenal take on London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

“We want the competition between the goalkeepers and also every player in the squad,” said the Spaniard. “Despite the position, it is the same opportunity and the same chances for all the goalkeepers.

“We spoke also, and Cech, he is doing very well. Against City as well, I think he played well also. He has this experience for continuing to defend our goal. Leno is just starting with us. He is working very well, he played well in pre-season, too, but he has to wait for his chance to arrive.”

Injuries to Sead Kolašinac and Nacho Monreal meant that Ainsley Maitland-Niles had to fill in at left-back against Manchester City, but the youngster lasted only 35 minutes before limping out of the action with an injury of his own.

Emery, however, has been handed a timely boost ahead of only his second Premier League outing. He said: “Nacho has started training with the group, so maybe he can come in for the next match.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s London derby, Emery made it clear that finding his feet at Arsenal is going to take time.

“Each match is different,” he added. “We want to prepare for each match by putting difficulty and demands on the opposition. We are playing with this personality and we need to improve this personality with better performances on the pitch.

“We are continuing this work and against Chelsea we are going to analyse the opposition. We are going there to win. I want to continue the process to build our team.”

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