Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny for Arsene Wenger's first Europa League group game clash against FC Cologne at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday (14 September).

The French defender is serving a one-game ban after picking up a red card during the Gunners' 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich, which was the last time they played in Europe.

The defender's absence will be a big blow, but he will be one among the many changes Wenger is planning for the game against the Bundesliga outfit as one eye will be on the Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday (17 September).

The French coach is certain to rotate his squad and hand a few of the fringe players a chance to stake their claim for a place in the starting XI. A number of first-team players, who have not been afforded regular game time thus far could be recalled to the staring lineup.

According to the Mirror, Jack Wilshere could make his first start for Arsenal in over 13 months following his recovery from a fracture. The midfielder suffered the injury during his loan spell with Bournemouth last season, and has since only played in reserve fixtures.

Wenger revealed recently that he is getting stronger after training with the first-team and could be handed a run out against the German club on Thursday. Apart from the English midfielder, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez could all return to the starting lineup after starting on the bench in their weekend win over Bournemouth.

The aforementioned trio have fallen behind in the pecking order and Wenger could use the game to rest the regulars ahead of the game against the Blues and give them a run out. Sanchez, on the other hand, is in need of match fitness having missed pre-season and the first two league games due to injury.

The Frenchman could also call up some youth-team players with Reiss Nelson a candidate to start at right wing-back despite Wenger admitting that he is a more offensive minded player. The England Under-19 international has been in impressive form and even picked up the Premier League 2 player of the month award.

Hector Bellerin, meanwhile, has made it clear in his recent interview with IBTimes UK that Arsenal are serious about the Europa League as they are keen to win the competition and use it as a route back to the Champions League next season.

Jack Wilshere
Laurent Koscielny
Jack Wilshere could be handed a run out against Cologne while Koscielny (R) will miss out (Getty)