Match previews

Arsenal predicted line-up against FC Cologne (3-4-3)



The Gunners will host German side FC Cologne tonight as they begin their Europa League campaign for the first time in 21 years. Arsene Wenger is likely to rest some key players, he believes the best way to return to the Champions League next year is through a Premier League top-four finish rather than the Europa League and he must definitely have an eye on the game against bitter rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

Players like Petr Cech, Laurent Koscienly, Granit Xhaka, Mezut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck have been left out of the squad to face FC Cologne tonight. Although, players like Sanchez and Jack Wilshere may feature as they have been included in the match day squad.


David Ospina is yet to start a game for the Gunners this season and he is expected to start in the absence of Petr Cech. The Colombian number 1 is an excellent shot-stopper and one of the best in his position, but he is unlucky to be in the same team with Petr Cech. Whenever given the chance to be in goal he has always gave a good account of himself.


Arsene Wenger is expected to stick to his three at the back system featuring the likes of Mustafi, Mertesacker and Holding. Mustafi was solid at the back for the Gunners against the Cherries last weekend and would be looking to continue from where he stopped against struggling FC Cologne tonight. Mertesacker is expected to play in the centre-half position while Holding and Mustafi are expected to play on the right and left side of the defence respectively.


A midfield quartet is expected as the wing backs will offer more threat going forward. Kolasinac and Bellerin will offer more width from the right and left side of the midfield respectively. A central midfield partnership of Elneny and Jack Wilshere will likely anchor the midfield. Jack Wilshere will be given the chance to build up his fitness level as he is set to make his first start for the Gunners in thirteen months.


A front three of Sanchez, Giroud and Iwobi is expected to lead the line with key players being rested. Giroud and Iwobi will make their first start of the season while Chilean star, Alexis Sanchez came on as a substitute against Bournemouth on Saturday, he is set to make his second start of the season and would be looking to build up match rhythm and fitness levels. The Chilean was the Gunners top scorer last season and Wenger will be hoping he can banish the memories of his failed deadline day move to Manchester City very quickly and be back among the goals as soon as possible.

Probable lineup: Ospina, Mustafi, Mertesacker, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Wilshere, Bellerin, Iwobi, Giroud, Sanchez.


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