Arsene Wenger says we’ll see a more experienced team play against Cologne in tonight’s Europa League clash.
Wenger has been happy to give his young players a chance in the Europa League group stage this season. However, with a number of first-team players returning from injury and in need of game time, we could see a more experienced team play in Germany.
Speaking in his pre-game press conference, Wenger said: “We have an experienced team tomorrow,” reports Football London. “Overall, I believe that you will see that every single player has big experience in the Premier League.
“We have brought some players as well who have played in former games and done extremely well like Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and overall I believe we have a good mixture between experience and young players.”
David Ospina, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud could all feature against Cologne.
It could mean that Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who have both featured regularly as wing-backs, will start on the bench. Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah could join them.
The youngsters have done very well to help Arsenal qualify from the group. The Gunners have a big squad and several players who could benefit from having extra minutes, however.
Ospina, Chambers and Welbeck are just returning from injury lay-offs, while Holding, Elneny and Iwobi didn’t feature against Tottenham on Saturday.
The 0-0 draw against Red Star Belgrade ensured Arsenal would be in the round of 32. A win against Cologne will make us group winners.