Written by Jim Daly

Arsenal will be without World Cup winning trio Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker for the opening day clash with Palace.

The Germany threesome have been given extra time to recover from the tournament in Brazil, which they won beating Argentina in the final.

Those three will only return to training on August 11th while the Gunners host Palace for the first Premier League game of the new season five days later.

It's a big boost for Tony Pulis and co as Arsene Wenger confirmed the news while on tour in the USA.

He added: "Our expectations have always been there but we have not always fulfilled them. We are very ambitious. Last season we were top of the league for 128 days, we won the FA Cup and next season we want to win more.

"The level of competition in England is high so it is hard to predict how good every team will be, but we will try to be even better.

"Our training camps are decided for commercial reasons as well. We have never been to the states and I’m happy.

"The best for football is not to travel too much, because of many reasons, for example jet lag. But we are only here for four days - it's not a training camp. We will go to Austria after this for our camp."

Palace meanwhile are hoping to have Fraizer Campbell in the ranks for the opening clash - the Cardiff striker is expected to be unveiled at SE25 in the next 24 hours.


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