Arsenal Duo Set For Recalls Against Cologne But Midfielder Ruled Out
Arsene Wenger is ready to rotate his squad for Arsenal’s Europa League opener on Thursday with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott among those set for recalls
Arsene Wenger is ready to rotate his squad for Arsenal’s Europa League opener against Cologne on Thursday night with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott among those set for recalls, according to the Telegraph.
The boss has made it clear that his priority is the Premier League this campaign as he’s desperate to mount a serious title challenge or at least secure a top four finish after finishing fifth last season.
Therefore, Wenger is expected to treat the Europa League like a domestic cup competition during the group stages so we should see plenty of changes to the starting eleven on Thursday night.
The Telegraph claim that Giroud is set to make his first start of the new season after falling behind Danny Welbeck and club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette in the pecking order.
Walcott has also found himself frozen out of Wenger’s first team plans so far this season but the newspaper says the 28-year-old will also be handed his first start of the campaign against Cologne.
Alexis Sanchez is also expected to be involved as he looks to build on his match fitness having started just one Arsenal game so far this season due to an apparent abdominal injury.
The attacker played in both of Chile’s games during the recent international break but was only a substitute against Bournemouth on Saturday and Wenger may decide to hold him back for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.
Jack Wilshere is pushing to make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt for over a year after recovering from a fractured leg that he sustained while on loan at Bournemouth last season.
However, Wilshere may have to make-do with a place on the bench against Cologne as the Telegraph claim Wenger also wants to give playing time to Alex Iwobi, Mohamed Elneny, Reiss Nelson, Per Mertesacker, David Ospina and Calum Chambers.
So it looks like some of our key men will be rested on Thursday but one player who is certain to miss out is Francis Coquelin as he’s been ruled out with a hamstring injury that he picked up against Bournemouth.
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