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Koscielny to play against Qarabag

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UNAI Emery looks set to hand Laurent Koscielny a first appearance since May in the Europa League against Qarabag on Thursday.

Laurent Koscielny will make his first senior Arsenal appearance of the season on Thursday against Qarabag in the Europa League following an Achilles injury, Unai Emery has confirmed.

French defender Koscielny ruptured his Achilles tendon during Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final second-leg defeat to Atletico Madrid in May.

The injury subsequently robbed him of a place in France’s World Cup-winning campaign, while he has yet to feature for Arsenal’s first-team since Emery took over from Arsene Wenger.

Now 33, Koscielny has been nursed back to fitness in recent weeks thanks to appearances for Arsenal’s second team, and Emery confirmed he will feature against Qarabag, with the Gunners already assured of top spot in Group E.

“Our first mind in this competition is to be first in the group – which we have done,” Emery told reporters on Wednesday.

“But we respect this competition and Qarabag. [On Thursday] our objective is to win, we will give players chance to take responsibility and confidence.

“We are going to use the match with some different players, with some coming from Under-23s. We also start to play with Laurent Koscielny.video playing.

Emery is unsure about whether Koscielny will also be involved against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, waiting to see how he copes with the visit of Qarabag.

“We have some players with injuries and unavailable at centre-back,” he said. “We are going to decide after Thursday [if Koscielny plays at the weekend], because it will be the first time Koscielny can play.

 

 

 

“We can use other players in this position, like sometimes [Nacho] Monreal and [Stephan] Lichtsteiner, so we will decide, but first we think about the Qarabag game.”

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