Arsene Wenger will have a few big-name players missing from the squad for the opening fixture of the English Premier League season, when Arsenal host Leicester City at the Emirates on Friday night.

Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out for this match, and most likely the next couple as well with an abdominal strain, with many taking that to be a sign that the Chilean will definitely leave the club before the transfer window closes.

Whether that is the case or not we will only know in a few weeks' time, but what is certain is that Arsenal will have to do without their leading scorer from last season for this game against the 2015-16 champions.

Also missing will be Gabriel, who is still recovering from an injury picked up last season, with Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin also on the injury list.

Laurent Koscielny, the main man at the back for Arsenal, will serve the second of his three-match suspension, while Shkodran Mustafi is still working his way back to full fitness after only recently returning from holiday.

While those absences are sizeable enough, there were also doubts over the fitness of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Per Mertesacker. Ramsey and Ozil missed the FA Community Shield last Sunday with knocks, while Mertesacker had to leave in the first half after suffering nasty cut near his eye.

Wenger, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, wasn't sure if any of the three would recover in time to take their place in the Arsenal starting XI for this EPL match against Leicester, but signs on Thursday were encouraging with all three engaging in a training session.

Sead Kolasinac, Arsenal, Community Shield
Sead Kolasinac might have to make way for Per MertesackerReuters

If Ramsey and Ozil were to return, Wenger will most likely leave Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi out, while Mertesacker's presence in the centre of defence will be huge. Arsenal did well when Mertesacker was forced off, with Monreal dropping to the centre and Sead Kolasinac taking up the left centre-back role, but the German's calming influence could be vital in the opening match of the English Premier League season.

Leicester have a couple of players missing, with Danny Drinkwater, linked with a move to Chelsea, out with a thigh problem, while summer signing Vicente Iborra will also have to watch from the stands after picking up a groin injury.

Robert Huth is unlikely to feature after just returning from a foot issue, but Leicester are better covered at the back this season, after the signing of Harry Maguire from Hull City.

Kelechi Iheanacho was a slight doubt after picking up a knock, but has returned to full training and should make his competitive debut for Leicester, following his move from Manchester City.

Expected playing XI:

Arsenal: Cech; Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Iwobi, Lacazette, Welbeck.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton; Iheanacho, Vardy.