Arsenal attacker Lukas Podolski says that he is fully focused on his side’s opening Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Podolski was given an extended leave of absence after he was part of the Germany side who won the World Cup, but took to Instagram on Friday to explain that he was fully concentrating on club matters again now.
He posted a picture of himself in training with the caption: "Training this morning with the lads, 1st game tomorrow focus is on Palace..... #afc #arsenal #training #AFCCPFC #poldi #aha #redarmy”
It is one of the first training sessions that Podolski and his two German teammates, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker, have been involved this season.
The trio returned to Arsenal at the start of this week and have had to make the transition from celebrating to focusing back of the club season very quickly.
All three are expected to play a major part in the Gunner’s season, where Arsene Wenger will be hoping that they can carry their international momentum into the Premier League.
If they can, Arsenal will be in a good position to make the title challenge which they are expected to this year after a summer of big-money buys.
Alexis Sanchez and Calum Chambers have arrived at the club much to the supporters’ excitement and the new season is highly anticipated, as a result.
They will be looking to announce their intentions for the season by dismantling Crystal Palace at the Emirates tomorrow, too.
The game had originally looked a tricky tie – with Palace proving to be a hard-team to beat last campaign, but the departure of Tony Pulis has meant that their task looks a lot easier.
Pulis guided Palace up to 11th last year in a staggering managerial feat, as he molded a squad which looked bereft of top-level quality into one which was a match for even the best teams in England.
Palace managed to beat Chelsea, Everton and come back from 3-0 down against Liverpool in a memorable campaign under the Welshman’s stewardship.
However, his departure means their plans for this campaign have been thrown into turmoil and you can forgive the players if they are slightly distracted by the off-the-field happenings during Saturday’s match.
Should Podolski start against Crystal Palace?