It’s just a matter of time before the first of Arsenal’s ten representatives at the 2022 World Cup will hopefully be in action.
As the tournament, which is being held in Qatar, gets underway on Sunday, players from all 32 nations will be going through their final preparations in training now that the warm-up friendlies that featured some Gunners stars are now complete.
With two days until the big kick-off, we rounded up the latest on William Saliba’s France photoshoot, Bukayo Saka in action, Granit Xhaka being reunited with Thomas Partey, Matt Turner’s return to fitness and Takehiro Tomiyasu being named on the bench for Japan against Canada.
So once again, football.london has taken a look at what the 10 Gunners stars have been getting up to over the past 24 hours on the eve of the 2022 World Cup.
Aaron Ramsdale was selected for England media duties as he spoke to the press. The Arsenal goalkeeper covered a lot of topics, including his hopes of starting against Iran and interesting comments from Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he also had time to play some darts.
Facing off against Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves in the latest game of Players vs Media darts, unfortunately, the Gunners’ number one lost the battle. Although he can take comfort from the fact that the scores now stand at Players 2-1 Media, the pressure is now on the teammate following him.
Many predicted England XI’s against Iran do include Saka. Now, as the Three Lions played a back-four in all three group games at Euro 2020 last summer, if Gareth Southgate repeats the trick on Monday, then it could be great news for the Arsenal winger, who has been in great form in recent weeks.
Furthermore, Ben White has been tipped to start in central defence by former Chelsea and West Ham midfielder Joe Cole: “I would go with [Jordan] Pickford in goal, centre halves I’ll go [John] Stones and White in the group stage,” he said, as per the Mirror, “[Kieran] Trippier right-back, [Luke] Shaw left-back. Then I’d play a midfield of Declan [Rice], [Jude] Bellingham and Mason [Mount] – Declan holding, then the two 10s given licence to go forward.
“Then I’d play Harry Kane up top, obviously, then probably start with Phil Foden on the right, then Saka on the left.”
Partey arrived with the Ghana squad in Qatar, as did Tomiyasu with the Japan national team. Saliba has once again been active on social media as he posted an image of him and former Gunners midfielder Matteo Guendouzi in a France training session to his Instagram Stories.
Turner too shared his excitement for the World Cup on Instagram with USMNT in action against Wales on Monday, whilst Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli continued their preparations with Brazil as the squad were put through their paces in a training session in Italy.
And as revealed on Instagram by Taulant Xhaka, the brother of Granit, the Arsenal midfielder is settling in very well to his new surroundings. In fact, his older sibling nicknamed him ‘Sheik Al G. Xhaka in response to his attire.