Wenger prefers top-four finish over Europa League glory

Quiz How much do you remember about Arsenal's history in Europe

Therefore this is probably the ideal time for Arsenal to play the German side who will undoubtedly be low on confidence.

The Gunners are rated at 4/9 favourites with Bet365.

Despite the Fairs Cup defeat by Cologne Arsenal showed character to win the double in 1970-71.

Mesut Ozil tops a star-studded list of Arsenal players who have been rested ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash against FC Koln.

Wenger is expected to rotate heavily as Arsenal enter the group stage of Europe's second-tier competition for the first time under the Frenchman, and with a crucial Premier League game at Chelsea on Sunday.

The Arsenal target man was just as one-dimensional when he was asked about the importance of Saturday's win against Bournemouth.

The 30-year-old has scored 99 goals for the club, but has fallen behind new signing Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck in the attacking pecking order. Vice-captain Jonas Hector is entering his sixth season with the side, and he remains one of their most reliable performers.

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They might be in poor form, but that won't stop their supporters having fun. There are estimates that up to 20,000 Koln fans could make the trip to London for the match, despite the fact that their club has only been allocated 3,000 tickets for the match, and many of them will be searching for ticket touts around the ground.

And because of a lack of history with the Champions League's little sister, it is hard to know how Wenger will approach it.

Serial substitute Olivier Giroud should get a chance to finally start a match.

"Coquelin is out for three weeks". So much so, that the Spaniard was absent from Arsenal's first team squad photo on Wednesday.

Arsenal have not begun a season outside the Champions League since 1997 and now face the Thursday-Sunday pattern of games which other managers have bemoaned in the past.

David Ospina, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere are meanwhile all likely to deputise and make their first competitive starts of the season. The Chilean is still building up his fitness levels.

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