Arsenal travel to the RheinEnergieStadion to face German side FC Köln in the Europa League, knowing a draw will ensure of their place in the last-32 as group-winners.

On Tuesday, Calum Chambers, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Jeff Reine-Adelaide missed out of training.

On Wednesday, all the youngsters except the goalkeepers were given a rest. Chambers, Ramsey, Giroud and Welbeck all rejoined training.

Considering Arsenal only need a draw in Cologne to top the group, it doesn’t seem likely the Gunners will suddenly introduce the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Özil in the competition, so I’d expect the team to be roughly similar to the previous group stage matches.


David Ospina should be ready to return to the first-team after his injury so I’d expect him to start.


Chambers now has some u23 action under his belt after injury, so we could see his return to the side, at least on the bench.

Holding and Mertesacker should be available. Debuchy, who played with Chambers for the u23s last Friday, might get the nod over the latter.


Hector Bellerín and Sead Kolašinac are likely to be rested for Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson as in the previous rounds.

However, the only previous Europa League game that the first-choice pairing played in was the home match against FC Köln, so you never know.


Joe Willock is starting to get a run in the team and I’d expect that to continue.

Mohamed Elneny played no part at the weekend, so he could be involved.

Jack Wilshere will probably retain his place in the front three, especially with Theo Walcott missing out with illness.

Francis Coquelin is always a possibility, but I think Willock and Elneny are the most likely pairing.


Wilshere could move forward to play as a wide-forward, with Alex Iwobi joining him.

Danny Welbeck could also play in either of those positions. With Olivier Giroud having just returned to training, I think the former will probably be the safer choice up front.

Much as I’d love to see Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson play as striker and wide-forward, I think that’s more likely to happen in the final game against Borisov, if it happens at all in this competition.

Predicted 3-4-2-1: Ospina; Holding, Mertesacker, Debuchy; Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Nelson; Wilshere, Iwobi; Welbeck.