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Early Europa League Preview – Cologne at Home

Europa League, Match Preview, News, NewsNow


Laurent Koscielny will be missing for our first Europa League tie this weekend as we prepare to face German side Cologne on Thursday.

The Frenchman will miss the game after being sent off ahead of our second 5-1 capitulation against Bayern Munich earlier this year as part of our 10-2 humiliating-exit-double-Munich-combo-wallop (or HEDMCW for short).

It looks like Francis Coquelin will miss the game as well having picked up a hamstring injury during our win over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon meaning we finished the game with just 10 men on the pitch (just like when Theo comes on as a sub – FNAAAR!).

It’s thought that fan favourite Jack Wilshere could feature, and Ospina will be brought in as the cup keeper ahead of Petr Cech, but key players could be rested with one eye on the Chelsea game which kicks off on Sunday lunchtime (or ‘Sunday morning’ as AW puts it).

Arsene Wenger has said in the Daily Express that he will rotate players with one eye on our crunch game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday lunchtime but his selection will be a ‘Premier League team’.

He said:

“Thursday to Sunday morning is short so, yes, I have to think about rotation, but we have to win at home, you know how it is when you don’t win at home, you have seen enough games. At least it is a new experience for us. We will take it seriously but the priority is to focus on the Premier League and combining the two and then in December we will see but, at least, we want to qualify for the next round…”

Cologne have had an even worse start to the season than us, and are rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga with 3 defeats out of 3.

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