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Laurent Koscielny left out of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League tie with FC Köln; fans won’t like this



Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal star defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the Gunner’s opening UEFA Europa League match due to suspension.

Koscielny, 32, will be unavailable for the first group stage game against Bundesliga side FC Koln on Thursday night as he will be serving a one-match suspension, carried over from last term when he was sent off in the second-leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 against German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, according to reports.

It’s likely that the France international defender would have missed the match anyway as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to rotate the team and give more fringe players an opportunity to feature in European competition.

The North London club play FC Koln on Thursday before having to prepare his team for an early kick-off Premier League match against rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

The short period between games is a staple of the UEFA Europa League, and something Arsenal will have to adjust to as soon as possible. The Frenchman being forced to relax for the Premier League game against Chelsea may result in a blessing.

While Arsene Wenger is yet to make public the team news for their first continental clash of the season, it’s likely that in Koscielny’s absence, either defender Rob Holding or German Per Mertesacker will take his place.