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Arsene Wenger says he will leave “two or three” players out his Arsenal squad for Thursday’s [14 September] Europa League opener against Cologne.
Arsene Wenger’s side were drawn into Group H alongside Cologne, BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade, beginning that campaign at home to the Bundesliga club.
Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to take on rivals Chelsea just three days after Thursday’s clash at the Emirates with Wenger prepared to rest a handful of players.
“It will be a Premier League team,” Wenger told the club’s official website on his selection plans.
“Some players will come in of course, because many players played twice for the national team, and then again today. So two or three will not be in the squad, but most of them will play.”
Francis Coquelin is set to be ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury in Saturday’s comfortable victory over Bournemouth but his absence could open the door for Jack Wilshere. Wilshere is yet to play a game for Arsenal this season after he suffered a hairline fracture to his leg while on loan at Bournemouth.
But asked whether the midfielder could be back for the Thursday’s encounter against Cologne, Wenger said: “I don’t know yet. He’s not far from that.”
“I told you in the [pre-match] press conference that he’s getting stronger and stronger. The fact that Francis is now out gives him a chance as well.”