By 90Min
September 12, 2017

Arsene Wenger will be without first choice centre-back Laurent Koscielny for Arsenal's opening Europa League group game against FC Cologne at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

The International Business Times points out that the French defender is serving a one-game ban after picking up a red card during the Gunners' 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich, which was the last time they played in Europe.

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The defender's absence may not be such a big blow due to the fact he was expected to be one among the many changes Wenger will make for Thursday's match against the Bundesliga side, in mind of the big Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday. 

Many of the fringe players within the Gunners squad will be given a chance in the Europa League to stake their claim for a more important role within Arsene Wenger's first team. 

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Jack Wilshere could make his first start for Arsenal in over 13 months following his recovery from a fracture he picked up on-loan at Bournemouth last season. 

Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Oliver Giroud are also all expected to start. 

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The Frenchman could also call upon some youth-team players, with a number of youngsters expected to be on the substitutes bench. In addition, it is thought Reiss Nelson may start at the Emirates this Thursday. 

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