Football News

Ozil & Kolasinac “100%” ready for Arsenal v Burnley after security fears

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:56, 15 August 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery is confident both Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will be ready to face Burnley on Saturday.

The duo were left out of Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season due to security fears.

Will Ozil and Kolasinac feature against Burnley? Five things to know…

  • Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil were both involved in a carjacking attempt in July.
  • The pair missed Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Newcastle due to security fears.
  • Both have now returned to training.
  • Unai Emery believes the pair are 100% mentally ready to return to action.
  • Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Ozil and Kolasinac had previously been involved in a carjacking attempt in north London in July, with the latter earning praise on social media for bravely confronting the two attackers.

But in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s home game against Burnley, Emery confirmed the pair were back in training and in contention.

When asked if the duo are mentally fit to play, Emery told reporters: “100 per cent. 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. They came back to train with us on Tuesday. We had it off but they came back to start training.

“Mesut didn’t train yesterday with illness but he trained today. They are both good options, I will take the decision if they can be with us on Saturday, we will wait for tomorrow.

“I am pleased they are back, of course. For us, for me first they are a person, then a player. We continued in our way with all the players. 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.

“The club is working and helping them about [their security]. I am helping with them to focus on training and preparation.

“At the moment they are calm and the club is working with them.”

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Pepe closer to Arsenal start

Arsenal enjoyed a good summer in the transfer window, bolstering their squad in key positions. The biggest signing came with the £72m arrival of Nicolas Pepe from Lille, who came off the bench to make his debut against Newcastle.

And Emery has admitted the Ivorian is making the right steps towards an Arsenal start, but did not confirm whether it would come against Burnley.

He added: “I am going to decide tomorrow because now is a small difference for my decision about the player.

“It depends how they will be tomorrow in the training. Pepe is training with us, improving with us, knowing us.

“He’s understanding our style little by little and physically getting better. He is more close to help us at the beginning [of the match].”