3-4-2-1: Nelson starts, no Sanchez: The Arsenal XI that can beat Cologne

By on September 13, 2017

Reiss Nelson Arsenal

Arsenal kick off our Europa League group campaign when we entertain Cologne at the Emirates on Thursday night [still doesn’t feel right saying that]. Here is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Ospina

It’s only fair that our No.2 goalkeeper should be given some first team action in the Europa League so I’d go with Ospina tomorrow night.

Defence: Mustafi, Mertesacker, Holding

Koscielny is suspended following his sending off against Bayern Munich last season but he wouldn’t have played anyway while I’d also expect Monreal to be given a breather.

Mertesacker should captain the side in defence and I’d also give Mustafi another run-out as he needs to regain his full confidence. The same can be said for Holding so the young Englishman should make-up the back three.

Midfield: Nelson, Wilshere, Elneny, Kolasinac

It’s time to unleash Nelson and hand him his competitive first team debut. The kid has been lighting-up the U23 league and deserves his chance so I’d play him at right wing-back and rest Bellerin.

Kolasinac impressed in the left wing-back role during the win over Bournemouth so I’d give him another chance to familiarise himself in the position but I expect we’ll see changes in the middle of the park.

Ramsey and Xhaka are set to be rested ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea so I think we’re going to see Elneny handed a rare start in midfield while we could see Wilshere make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt for over a year.

jack wilshere arsenal 2015

Attack: Walcott, Iwobi, Giroud

Lacazette, Ozil and Welbeck didn’t train today so I expect all three to be rested tomorrow night ahead of the Chelsea game so it will be all-change in attack.

Walcott desperately needs to game as he’s found football hard to come by this season while Giroud is fully expected to lead the line up front against Cologne.

Sanchez trained today and many journalists claim he’ll start tomorrow but I think that would be a mistake. If Arsene starts Alexis tomorrow then that will give him the perfect excuse to leave him out against Chelsea.

Let’s be honest, Sanchez is arguably our best player so we need him if we’re going to get anything at Stamford Bridge so let’s start Iwobi, give Alexis 30 minutes to build his fitness against Cologne and save him for Chelsea.

This would be my team tomorrow: