Team News And Starting Lineup- Arsenal vs Cologne

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Arsenal will take on Cologne in the Europa League on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.

Having not had to play in the tournament for 17 years, only a win is acceptable for Arsene Wenger’s side.

The last time the Gunners played in this competition it was called the Uefa Cup and they were beaten by Galatasaray on penalties in the final.

Arsenal were handed a favourable draw, with fixtures against BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade also to come.

Team News:

Koln have lost three of their four games this term. In fact, their only win came against TS Lever in the DFB Pokal – a side who play in the fifth tier.

A 1-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on the opening day was followed up with a 3-1 home defeat to Hamburg.

Then at the weekend they fell again, conceding another three away at Augsburg.

Arsenal won 3-0 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday will give Arsene Wenger’s team confidence. However, it’s still been a shaky start to the season.

Arsenal shouldn’t need to be at full-strength to take on Koln this Thursday, but you can’t risk taking the chance on a full XI of inexperienced kids.

With Laurent Koscielny suspended, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal are the best options on either side.

In midfield, this would be the perfect chance to hand Jack Wilshere some minutes.

He hasn’t played for the Gunners in 13 months and is now fit after recovering from a broken leg.

On the right, Wenger would have the chance to reward Reiss Nelson for his superb displays for the Under-23 side.

The 17-year-old has scored six goals in four games, including a stunning free-kick against Manchester United on Friday.

He’s able to play as a wing-back or as a central midfielder.

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