Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has expressed confidence that he is now "100% fit" after injury. The combative Frenchman sustained a knee problem following a first-half collision with N'Golo Kante during last month's 3-0 victory over Chelsea and left the stadium in a brace amid fears that he had suffered similar ligament damage to that incurred against West Bromwich Albion in November 2015.
That previous affliction kept Coquelin sidelined for more than two months, although this time he was more fortunate after surprisingly positive scan results received 48 hours later confirmed that his latest injury was merely short term. After Wenger predicted that he would miss around three weeks, the 25-year-old remained absent for the Champions League defeat of FC Basel and a last-gasp win at Burnley before returning to training during the international break.
He was subsequently deemed fit enough for a place on the bench for Saturday's (15 October) Premier League clash with Swansea, where he replaced the more attack-minded Alex Iwobi with 22 minutes remaining as Arsenal, who lost Granit Xhaka to a straight red card shortly afterwards, successfully held a 3-2 lead to chalk up their sixth successive top-flight victory.
Coquelin will hope to win back his place alongside Santi Cazorla in the starting XI with Xhaka now set to serve an automatic three-match ban and believes he has now fully recovered from that initially frightening setback.
"When you make these kinds of tackles, and this happened before against West Brom, you are a bit scared," he was quoted as saying by Arsenal's official website after appearing alongside Wenger at a press conference held prior to a Champions League Group A meeting against Ludogorets Razgrad. "It was a similar tackle to then.
"The good thing was that I could run back on to the pitch afterwards, even if I couldn't stay on for long. The scan which followed was all positive so that was great news. It took me a few weeks to get back to full fitness, but now I feel good."
Arsenal's excellent recent form has seen them rise to second in the Premier League, where they trail leaders Manchester City by one solitary goal. The Gunners have also made an encouraging start to their 19th consecutive Champions League campaign, brushing aside Basel with ease courtesy of a brace from Theo Walcott after Alexis Sanchez's second-half goal had secured a somewhat fortunate 1-1 draw away to Paris Saint-Germain.
Ludogorets, making only their second appearance in the group stages of Europe's elite club competition, currently sit bottom with one point from their opening two matches. The reigning Bulgarian champions, who lost 2-1 to Liverpool on their only previous visit to England in September 2014 despite equalising in the 90th minute, also lie second in their domestic league with a two-point gap to Levski Sofia. Georgi Dermendzhiev returned to manage the team after current Port Vale coach Bruno Ribeiro was sacked in September 2015.