Koscielny to return soon for Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny is set for a swift return to the Arsenal team, although he will sit out Monday's Premier League match at Crystal Palace.

Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny will miss Monday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace but his Achilles injury is not as serious as first feared.

Koscielny went off at half-time during Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Manchester City last weekend and the France international was absent when the Gunners saw off West Ham 3-0 on Wednesday.

But boss Arsene Wenger told a news conference on Friday that a prolonged spell on the sidelines was not on the cards as the 31-year-old has not suffered tendon damage.

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"Koscielny is out for Monday night. I don't know who will be captain - I have not picked the team yet - but last game it was Walcott," said Wenger, who is yet to learn whether Arsenal will be punished by the Premier League after they played the second half against City without a replacement skipper.

"It [Koscielny's absence] will be shorter than expected. It is not a tendon problem."

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Wenger will welcome back holding midfielder Francis Coquelin for the trip to Selhurst Park but goalkeepers Petr Cech (calf) and David Ospina (back) are still sidelined.

It means third-choice keeper Emiliano Martinez will continue after keeping a clean sheet versus West Ham.

"He looked composed, quiet, calm and I know personally that he has the quality because I see him every day, so I was not surprised by the quality of his game," Wenger added.

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