Wenger leaves out Cole

Want-away defender Ashley Cole will not be included in Arsenal’s squad for the Barclays Premiership opener against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

Manager Arsene Wenger has decided against including the left-back, despite Cole making himself available amid the ongoing transfer saga with Chelsea.

Winger Jose Antonio Reyes has been unsettled by speculation linking him to Real Madrid, but is unfit with a groin problem tomorrow. Summer signing Tomas Rosicky (groin) also misses out, but midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has been rushed back from an ankle problem.

Captain Thierry Henry should return to the side after being rested following his World Cup exploits with France, having played in midweek for Les Bleus. Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was suspended for the European tie, and is expected to feature despite needing treatment for hypoglycaemia while on international duty this week.

Gael Clichy (foot), Philippe Senderos (shoulder), Abou Diaby (ankle) and Lauren (knee) all remain out.

Team (from): Lehmann, Flamini, Eboue, Toure, Djourou, Fabregas, Gilberto, Van Persie, Adebayor, Henry, Almunia, Hoyte, Hleb, Aliadiere, Cygan, Traore, Song, Ljungberg.


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