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Friendly Insights: Maitland-Niles starts and gets assist in new position and Nketiah nets hat trick in 6-0 Arsenal rout

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The Gunners were in friendly action at The Emirates on Saturday 6 June and they strolled to a 6-0 victory over Charlton. Mikel Arteta will have been experimenting with his team ahead of the clubs return to Premier League action in just 10 days.

Arsenal vs Charlton

So what did we learn from Arsenal’s straightforward win over the Championship club on Saturday?

Mikel started the game with one XI and changed it at half time – but we can learn quite a lot from how he started this one.

In what seemed to be the Spaniard’s favoured eleven, Tierney was in at left-back. Amongst other notable inclusions were Matteo Guendozui and Ainsley Maitland Niles in central midfield, whilst Reiss Nelson started ahead of Nicolas Pepe.

We know that Arteta clearly rates Nelson and its not the first time he has selected Reiss to start in the team ahead of Pepe. What was surprising was the inclusion of Maitland-Niles, especially in a midfield role. Arteta has so far left the Englishman on the sidelines under his tenure, but perhaps a shift in attitude from the player has resulted in him receiving a second chance.

Eddie will have put a strong case in to be included in the first team more frequently with a second-half hattrick after replacing Lacazette, whilst Joe Willock also did well in the second half with an impressive goal and assist.

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PICTURES: Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell join Chelsea training

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Chelsea returned to training today (Wednesday) at Cobham, and there were two new faces joining the rest of the squad, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. The two summer arrivals had yet to train with the squad since signing, dealing with quarantine (presumably) and heel injury issues, respectively.

It’s unclear if either will be fit and ready for this weekend’s match against Liverpool, but it’s still nice to see them in training with the rest of the group! (Those who played on Monday apparently had a lighter session, but were all out there nonetheless.)

There’s no word on how close Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic may be. Ziyech is probably still a couple weeks out with his knee problem, at least, but Pulisic was supposed to be close before suffering a potential setback with his hamstring late last week. Neither were pictured in training, and one would assume their presence would get emphasized had they been there.

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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