Arsenal vs Cologne: Seven senior players to miss Gunners' Europa League clash

Sheri Evans
September 14, 2017

Köln qualified for this season's competition by finishing fifth in the Bundesliga last season, but without leading goal scorer Anthony Modeste who moved to China, appear to be struggling.

This campaign has started badly for the Billy Goats, who have lost their opening three league games to sit bottom of the table - they are the only top-flight German side without a point so far.

Despite a history of injury problems, mostly concerning his fragile ankle, Wenger believes there are positives Wilshere can take from so many lay-offs if he has the right mentality to do so.

Francis Coquelin will also miss the tie and will be out for the next three weeks after injuring his hamstring against Bournemouth on Saturday. The most important is to win and after that the goals will come if we play well and play our game.

This means playing on Thursdays rather than Tuesday of Wednesday, but Wenger has made it clear he's not prepared to accept that as an excuse for a poor performance against the Blues.

Chelsea endured a hard start to the life under Antonio Conte last season but eventually lifted the title in May.

Arsenal also played at the old Mungersdorf ground in 1996 - long before it was refurbished for the 2006 World Cup in Germany - when they faced the Billy Goats' near neighbours Borussia Monchengladbach.

Europa League
ReutersThe Emirates is hosting the Europa League for the first time

"It's always nice to have good players alongside you".

Stoger, though, has the services of Marcel Risse and Milos Jojic, after both players returned to training ahead of the away day visit to North London. Taking a more pragmatic view, though, Europe's secondary continental club competition could represent their best route back into its primary one. Up front, Yuya Osako will be the key player for Stoger to test the Arsenal defence, alongside strike partner Jhon Cordoba.

Despite the Fairs Cup defeat by Cologne Arsenal showed character to win the double in 1970-71.

Arsene Wenger has hinted that Jack Wilshere will feature for Arsenal against Koln in the Europa League.

On Thursday, FC Koln will become the 64th different that Arsene Wenger will face as the Arsenal manager.

Time to put the frustrations to bed. Alexandre Lacazette's arrival in the summer had deemed him a backup choice at best, but Danny Welbeck's upturn in form is now threatening to put the Frenchman into the periphery. Truth be told, few Arsenal supporters genuinely looked forward to watching the likes of Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski play at the Emirates on big European nights; it usually only results in pain and humiliation.

"We don't calculate that this is a way to get back in there, we have for 20 years done that in the Premier League".

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Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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