English Premiership

Emery keeps faith in Cech for Chelsea return

2018-08-16 20:33
Petr Cech (Getty Images)

London - Arsenal manager Unai Emery will keep faith with goalkeeper Petr Cech for his return to Chelsea on Saturday.

Cech, 36, struggled with Emery's orders to play out from the back in the Spanish coach's first game in charge as the Gunners lost 2-0 to Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend.

Emery surprisingly left Bernd Leno on the bench despite Arsenal spending £20 million on the German 'keeper from Bayer Leverkusen in June.

"For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. But if (in future) Bernd starts, I believe in him also," Emery said on Thursday.

Cech, who spent 11 years at Chelsea before joining Arsenal in 2015, nearly scored a comical own goal against City as a misplaced pass across his own area went just wide of the post.

And when Cech finally played one clearance long into the City half, it was met by huge cheers by the Arsenal fans.

But Emery insisted he won't change his ways despite being labelled by former England manager Sam Allardyce as "stupid" for his approach.

"We are going to play away but we need to keep our personality, keep our mentality," added Emery.

"I think on Sunday against Manchester City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes, even when we were losing, and didn't let their heads go down.

"We want a good preparation before and a good response on the pitch to that preparation."

One problem area for Emery may be solved by the return of Nacho Monreal at left-back.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles started against City but had to be replaced early on by Stephan Lichtsteiner after suffering a leg fracture that will keep him out for at least two months.

Experienced Swiss international Lichtsteiner is a right-back by trade and Emery is hopeful Monreal will be fit to face Chelsea after returning to training this week.

Emery will be without another left-back Sead Kolasinac until October due to a left knee problem, the club confirmed on Thursday.

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace, The American Express Community Stadium 14:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 17:00
Newcastle United v Burnley, St. James' Park 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Watford v Liverpool, Vicarage Road 19:30
Sunday, 01 March 2020
Manchester City v Arsenal, Etihad Stadium 02:00
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 16:00
Saturday, 07 March 2020
Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth, Anfield 14:30
Sheffield United v Norwich City, Bramall Lane 17:00
Arsenal v West Ham United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion, Molineux Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v Newcastle United, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur, Turf Moor 19:30
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