Arsenal vs Cologne: Wenger press conference

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Arsenal vs Cologne: Wenger press conference

Arsene Wenger says on eve of Europa League opener that Wilshere could make his first Gunners appearance in more than a year on Thursday night, with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil rested and Francis Coquelin injured for Cologne's Europa League visit.

The Bundesliga outfit should pose the toughest test in a group which also includes Bate Borisov and Red Star Belgrade.

Also, Read; Wenger drops seven stars for Cologne tie with eye on Chelsea

Arsenal plays in Europe’s second tier competition for the first time under Wenger this week, eager to avoid the problems experienced by other sides playing Thursdays and Sundays.

And Wenger says the recent international demands of Ramsey and Ozil mean they need to put their feet up when Cologne visit the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Wenger said: “On the injury front we have no big problems.

" Santi Cazorla is a long-term absentee but the overall picture is pretty good. and Francis Coquelin who he is out. As I said in the last press conference he is out for three weeks.'

“We have been monitoring the squad to see how players have had to work over the international break, so Ozil and Ramsey are rested completely.”

Wenger insists he will not allow the fear of playing Thursdays and Sundays in the Europe League start to cause problems among his players.

He added: “Wednesday night or Thursday night is no different for us.
 
With Ozil and Ramsey missing out, Wenger is making big changes in his midfield, which could see Jack Wilshire given his first start of the season.

Wilshire has not played since breaking his leg while on loan at Bournemouth last season but has been working hard in training and is pushing for a recall.

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