Arsene Wenger could leave out seven first-team players for Thursday’s Europa League clash, with Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey all missing training.
The Arsenal manager did suggest he would give some fringe players a run-out ahead of this week’s group game with FC Koln, and it appears Wenger will make quite an overhaul of the squad which faced Bournemouth on the weekend.
Likely that Wilshere, Walcott, Ospina will start against Cologne in heavily rotated team. Few youngsters involved in matchday squad too.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) September 13, 2017
Supporters will be delighted at the prospect of seeing Jack Wilshere back in an Arsenal shirt again, 13 months after his last appearance for the club. The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Bournemouth and is in the last year of his deal at the Emirates, meaning he’s playing for his future.
Arsenal are favourites to win against FC Koln, and I feel they should pick up all three points regardless of how many fringe players they include. Wenger will surely have one eye on Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea, with the Gunners boss keen to avoid another backlash if his side come unstuck.
The large amount of first-team players potentially being rested shouldn’t hamper Arsenal’s chances of winning against Koln. It’s perhaps a wise move to protect the squad for the Chelsea meeting. Arsenal can’t afford to lose their third game in five in the league.