Football

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin lined up for Champions League return

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Arsene Wenger is hoping Francis Coquelin will spare him of a selection headache ahead of Arsenal's UEFA Champions League bout with Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini have both been ruled out in midfield through muscular injuries, with Arsenal's preferred choice in Coquelin only returning to training yesterday after a swollen knee suffered at Chelsea kept him sidelined against Leicester City last weekend.

Wenger, though, appeared confident that the Frenchman could make a return to his side on Tuesday night.

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Speaking on the defensive midfielder in the his pre-game press conference, according to Sky Sports, he said: "He has been back since yesterday and I will have to see how he responds to two days of training, but he looks alright."

The 24-year-old has become an integral part of Wenger's team, bringing solidarity to an other wise defensively flimsy midfield, with the Gunners' usually strong defence looking vulnerable without his presence.

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And with Arteta (dead leg) and Flamini (hamstring) joining long-term absentee Jack Wilshere (fibula) on the injury table, his potential absence could leave Santi Cazorla as the next most defensive midfielder available to fill the gap in front of the defence.

The north London side go into the game looking for their first points of the European campaign, having lost 2-1 at Dinamo Zagreb last time out.

They will also be without Olivier Giroud, who will be serving a one-match ban following his red-card in Zagreb.

However, centre-back Gabriel is expected to return to the line-up after missing the game at Leicester having served his own domestic suspension.

Forward Danny Welbeck and Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky (both knee) remain unavailable.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Arsenal
Football

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