Arsenal boss Unai Emery has confirmed that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are both “100%” mentally ready ahead of Burnley’s visit on Saturday.
Ozil and Kolasinac were victims of an attempted robbery three weeks ago and they were cautiously left out of the Gunners trip to Newcastle last weekend.
But Emery has confirmed that they both trained over the last week and said the clubs are working to ensure their personal security.
In a pre-match conference on Thursday, Emery was asked if the pair are mentally ready to play and he replied:
“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.”
Emery expects a physical game
The Gunners boss expects a physical battle against Burnley at the Emirates and he also revealed his admiration for the Clarets boss Sean Dyche.
“It will be a very physical match. We need to adapt and be strong physically,” Emery said.
“We need to impose our game plan with structure and tactical positioning. We need to do well in the individual duels, they are very strong on the duels.
“They are very strong in their structure with two strikers, they will demand a lot from us defensively. With long balls and second actions they are one of the best teams.
“They are very, very clear and very efficient with that structure. They also have players who, if you let them, they can build up with Tarkowski, Mee, Wood, Cork and some good wingers. I respect a lot that team and that coach.”
Pepe getting better physically
Emery also said the club record signing Pepe is in contention to make his home debut on Saturday after coming on as a substitute against Newcastle last week.
“I will decide tomorrow. My decision depends on how they are in training tomorrow,” he continued.
“Pepe is improving with us, he is learning our ideas and styles and understanding his team-mates. Physically is getting better.
“He is closer to helping us from the beginning or having an impact in the match.”
Aubameyang and Lacazette can help in different situations
Asked Aubameyang and Lacazette could start alongside each other against Burnley, Emery said:
“Last year they played a lot of matches together in the first team. As a striker or with Auba as a winger on the right and left,” he said.
“Their capacities will help us a lot this year. Above all I think we can use both of them in different situations.”