Laurent Koscielny will miss Arsenal’s opening Europa League game due to suspension.
The 32-year-old will be unavailable for the first group stage match against FC Koln on Thursday as he’ll be serving a one-match ban, carried over from last season when he was dismissed in the second-leg of the Champions League last-16 against Bayern Munich, according to latest reports.
It’s likely that Koscielny would have missed the game anyway as Arsene Wenger plans to rotate the squad and give more fringe players a chance to feature in Europe. Arsenal play Koln on Thursday night before having to prepare for an early kick-off against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
The short turnover between matches is a staple of the Europa League and something the Gunners will need to adjust to very quickly. Koscielny being forced to rest-up for the Chelsea may turn out to be a blessing.
While Wenger has yet to reveal the team news for their first European clash of the season, it’s likely that either Rob Holding or Per Mertesacker will take Koscielny’s place, I believe. Koscielny will be available for selection again when Arsenal travel to Belarus to play BATE Borisov at the end of the month.