Arsene Wenger Set to Rotate Squad Against Cologne Ahead of Crucial League Trip to Chelsea
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will leave 'two or three' players out of the squad for their Europa League game against Cologne on Thursday.
The Gunners will begin life in Europe' second competition for the first time in 20 years following last season's disappointing fifth place finish in the Premier League, looking to replicate Manchester United's success last campaign guaranteeing them Champions League qualification.
Ibtimes have reported that Wenger is set to rotate his squad ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as they face Chelsea: "It will be a Premier League team. 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."
Wenger's men were drawn against Belarusian side BATE Borisov, Serbian League outfit Red Star Belgrade and the Bundesliga strugglers in a favourable raw which sees them favourites to qualify for the Round of 32 stage.
Combative midfielder Francis Coquelin is set to miss the game after he picked up a hamstring injury in the comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday. The Frenchmen's absence could open the door for the long awaited return to first team action for Jack Wilshere.
Wilshere is yet to play for the Gunners since his loan spell at the Cherries last summer, where he suffered a hairline fracture in the final months of the season with Wenger stating that he could be involved.
"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." Coquelin will join long-term absentee Santi Cazorla on the sideline as the only two Arsenal players who are unavailable through injury.
Arsenal's opponents travel to the Emirates have failed to pick up a point in the Bundesliga so far, sitting bottom of the table. In their three games they have scored once, whilst conceding seven in a disappointing start to the campaign.