Full strength Arsenal held to 0-0 draw by Luton as Xhaka, Saka, Ramsdale and White start in behind closed doors friendly

ARSENAL were held to a 0-0 draw against Luton in their final game before the return of the Premier League.

After the conclusion of the World Cup, Mikel Arteta was able to reunite his squad after a month and a half break from domestic action.

GettyMikel Arteta talks to his players during their friendly with Luton[/caption]

GettyBukayo Saka in action for Arsenal[/caption]

GettyLuton proved to be tricky customers for Granit Xhaka and Co[/caption]

GettyGabriel Martinelli got a run-out during the clash[/caption]

GettyMartin Odegaard was put through his paces against the Championship side[/caption]

GettyAaron Ramsdale was replaced at the break with Matt Turner[/caption]

And the Spaniard fielded a full-strength team in a behind-closed doors friendly against Championship outfit Luton.

This included England trio Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White – who returned from Qatar earlier than expected.

Fellow World Cup stars Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli also featured in the friendly at London Colney.

They were supported by club captain Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah – who both took part in a beach shooting challenge in Dubai – as well as Rob Holding, Gabriel and Cedric.

Martinelli curled an effort wide just before the break, but that was as close as they came.

With Arsenal held to a stalemate, the second-half saw nine changes to the team throughout, seeing only Cedric and Holding remain on the pitch for the full duration.

The likes of Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Albert Sambi Lokonga came on to try and force an opening, but were also unable to force an opener against a strong Hatters display.

Three stars were notably absent from the action, those being Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney and Oleksandr Zinchenko.


Gabriel Jesus was the other notable star missing, though he will be absent for some time owing to knee surgery he undertook after returning from Brazil’s World Cup camp.

The Gunners face West Ham on Boxing Day looking to pick up where they left off in the Prem.

They sit five points clear at the top of table, and only one team has failed to win the league from such a commanding position, that being Newcastle in 1995/96.

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