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Jack Wilshere poised to discuss Arsenal future with Arsene Wenger as midfielder plots path to World Cup

Jack Wilshere is set for talks with Arsene Wenger to settle his Arsenal future. He has admitted he could leave Arsenal in January after revealing his frustration at only playing two games in the Premier League this season. The England midfielder will have only six months left on his contract when the transfer window opens in the New Year and he is facing a crucial decision in his career. With the World Cup looming in Russia, Wilshere is desperate to discover if he has a future under Wenger and is poised to meet with the Arsenal manager in the next few weeks. “I’ve said before that I want to stay here and play. I’ve been at this club for 10 years. I don’t have to say how much this club means to me, how good they have been to me,” he said. “But at the same time, the boss has got to be honest with me and I’m sure he will. I think we will have to talk about that [leaving in January] when it comes down to it. “We have got a month until then and me and the boss will probably have a conversation before then and see what happens because obviously when January comes I have only got six months left on my contract. “We have known each other for long enough and we have a good relationship where we can be honest with each other so I’m sure we will be and then we will go from there.” Wilshere is planning on having talks with Arsène Wenger in the next few weeks Credit: Getty Images Wilshere has played just 25 minutes in the league this season and his hopes of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad in Russia appear increasingly bleak. The 25-year-old has not played for his country since the 2-1 defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016 and said he had received no contact from Southgate. Wilshere said: “He’s got my number and he hasn’t called me yet. If he wants to call me, my phone is always on. He didn’t put me in the squad and had that to focus on. He said in the press what he wanted me to do: get in the team and play regularly and that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s all I can do. “I want to play in the Premier League so of course I’m frustrated but the team are playing well. “I will try everything, I will work hard in training and when I get the opportunity I will play as well as I can but it is a difficult team to get into.” Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years? There are also doubts over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who are also out of contract in the summer. Manchester United have an interest in Ozil, while there also suggestions the German attacker is demanding £350,000 a week from Barcelona. Wenger, however, does not expect the uncertainty to affect them. “I have no concerns. Ozil and Alexis are praised when the team is doing well because of them, and when the team doesn’t do well they get more criticism,” he said. “I don’t question their honesty. Nobody knows what will happen when the players reach the end of their contracts. Our worry is to perform in the next game, that’s it.” Arsenal return to league action on Sunday with a trip to Burnley, followed by games against Huddersfield and United.

Jack Wilshere poised to discuss Arsenal future with Arsene Wenger as midfielder plots path to World Cup

Jack Wilshere is set for talks with Arsene Wenger to settle his Arsenal future. He has admitted he could leave Arsenal in January after revealing his frustration at only playing two games in the Premier League this season. The England midfielder will have only six months left on his contract when the transfer window opens in the New Year and he is facing a crucial decision in his career. With the World Cup looming in Russia, Wilshere is desperate to discover if he has a future under Wenger and is poised to meet with the Arsenal manager in the next few weeks. “I’ve said before that I want to stay here and play. I’ve been at this club for 10 years. I don’t have to say how much this club means to me, how good they have been to me,” he said. “But at the same time, the boss has got to be honest with me and I’m sure he will. I think we will have to talk about that [leaving in January] when it comes down to it. “We have got a month until then and me and the boss will probably have a conversation before then and see what happens because obviously when January comes I have only got six months left on my contract. “We have known each other for long enough and we have a good relationship where we can be honest with each other so I’m sure we will be and then we will go from there.” Wilshere is planning on having talks with Arsène Wenger in the next few weeks Credit: Getty Images Wilshere has played just 25 minutes in the league this season and his hopes of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad in Russia appear increasingly bleak. The 25-year-old has not played for his country since the 2-1 defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016 and said he had received no contact from Southgate. Wilshere said: “He’s got my number and he hasn’t called me yet. If he wants to call me, my phone is always on. He didn’t put me in the squad and had that to focus on. He said in the press what he wanted me to do: get in the team and play regularly and that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s all I can do. “I want to play in the Premier League so of course I’m frustrated but the team are playing well. “I will try everything, I will work hard in training and when I get the opportunity I will play as well as I can but it is a difficult team to get into.” Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years? There are also doubts over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who are also out of contract in the summer. Manchester United have an interest in Ozil, while there also suggestions the German attacker is demanding £350,000 a week from Barcelona. Wenger, however, does not expect the uncertainty to affect them. “I have no concerns. Ozil and Alexis are praised when the team is doing well because of them, and when the team doesn’t do well they get more criticism,” he said. “I don’t question their honesty. Nobody knows what will happen when the players reach the end of their contracts. Our worry is to perform in the next game, that’s it.” Arsenal return to league action on Sunday with a trip to Burnley, followed by games against Huddersfield and United.

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

David Unsworth refuses to criticise his treatment by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri during manager hunt

Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has urged owner Farhad Moshiri to appoint a permanent manager quickly, but refused to criticise the Iranian over his own personal treatment. Moshiri released a statement to a national radio station on Friday morning which claimed he had a three-man shortlist for the position and hoped to have a new man in place soon. Watford boss Marco Silva, RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick and Sam Allardyce have all been linked with the job, which has been vacant since Ronald Koeman was sacked on October 23. Unsworth claimed he “does not know” if he is on Moshiri’s shortlist having only heard about the statement made by the club’s majority shareholder shortly before his afternoon media briefing. The ex-Everton defender was asked if the timing of Moshiri’s announcement – while he was working with the club's players on the training ground at Finch Farm - conveyed a lack of respect. “What will be will be,” Unsworth said ahead of Everton’s clash with Southampton on Sunday. David Unsworth is backing defender Michael Keane to come good for Everton  Credit: Getty Images  “I am a proud man and I have stood proud for five weeks. Until someone tells me otherwise I will continue to be a proud man. “Before I came into the press conference I was made aware of it so I am delighted if that’s the case. The sooner it's sorted the better, I think that would be fair comment. “This is a wonderful job for any aspiring manager, any senior manager, any manager of any club in the world.” Unsworth also backed Everton centre-back Michael Keane to come good following a difficult start to his career at Goodison Park following a £30m switch from Burnley in the summer. “Is his confidence as high as it could be? Probably not,” added the interim Toffees boss. “I just think Michael and our back four have to return to basics. In terms of defending, anyway, it’s okay to put the ball in row z and be organised to keep a clean sheet. “We have seen in spells he is more than capable of producing performances. Michael will be fine because he is the right type; he is honest, humble, and he is keen to learn.”

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

It has been a remarkable journey for Nick Pope: from no longer enjoying football and almost feeling relief at being released by the Ipswich Town academy, through eight loan spells and being roughed up in non-League games such as the “big” Kent derby between Welling United and Dartford, to making his debut in the Premier League, where he now tops the charts as having the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper. Better than David de Gea, even. “It’s crazy,” Pope chuckles when told that no goalkeeper has more impressive statistics than him, including three successive clean sheets. The next stage of the journey comes on Saturday when seventh-placed Burnley host sixth-placed Arsenal. “To come this far is a long journey and something I could never have pictured back then.”  The “back then” was when he was 16. He was called into a meeting at Ipswich and told it was over. “Looking back it was the best thing that happened,” Pope states. “It gave me a jolt and forced a change in my life that I probably needed. And in my football, as well. It has worked out but I was devastated at the time.  “It wasn’t a surprise. I had seen it coming. I was low on confidence, didn’t think I was good enough. I remember the games. I wasn’t playing well, wasn’t playing good football and I was called in to a meeting. I was waiting for the bad news, really.” Did he think it was the end of his football career? “I probably did to be honest but being out of the academy system I didn’t really have to think about it,” Pope says. “I didn’t have to worry about whether I was going to get the next contract or the next scholarship or whether I would make it. “It was over. It was all out of the window and I just started to enjoy my football again. I was leaving that system where it’s the very controlled and high-pressure environment of academy football. To come out of it was something that was actually a breath of fresh air.” Still, it was tough. “I was an Ipswich fan [and season ticket-holder]. So it was nothing I felt could ever walk away from because if they allowed me to train with them it was like it was a massive honour,” Pope says.  Pope forced to stretch for the save as he maintains three successive clean sheets for Burnley  Credit: Reuters “I wasn’t massively enjoying it but had no other option until they told me, ‘We don’t want you here any more’. It’s hard. After you’ve been in a system for a few years and are used to it, the tag of being in an academy. In a school you might be the only one in there who is in an academy, and to lose that and to stop is a big blow and some find it hard to recover from and find another route.” So Pope had to think about life away from football. “I studied marketing for two years and a year of sports science,” he says, although there was an alternative. “My old man is a farmer [in Suffolk] so I could have gone in to that, maybe. But I wasn’t that worried about football. I was out of it for 18 months, two years and there was talk of being offered trials but nothing ever came up, so I had stopped getting excited.” Instead he went to college and played non-League “men’s football”, firstly with Bury Town in Suffolk. “You meet some people, you really do,” Pope says. “You go to some grounds that are not the best. You have people behind the goals abusing you – and you don’t get that in the academy!  “I quite enjoyed it because it’s so far from what you know. To encounter that so young was something else new and you had to get used to it. It’s considered a level below the academy but it was just what I needed really.” Pope earned a place at Nottingham University but then a contract was offered – by Charlton Athletic – which was followed by a raft of loan spells: to Harrow Borough and Welling, where he remembers playing the “derby” against Dartford twice in four days, to Aldershot – “a tough one for me,” he admits – to York City and so on. “I went from the Conference South to Charlton in the Championship, and that’s not a step any goalkeeper would realistically make,” Pope says, which is why he then went on loan so often. Every time you have to prove yourself. It’s  like being on trial even though you have the Charlton name as a Championship club, it itself won’t take you.” Pope made an impression, though, and so much so that he had a big decision to make: stay at Charlton, who had just been relegated to League One, or move to Burnley as third-choice goalkeeper. “At that point I could have stayed at Charlton and played, probably,” Pope, now 25, says. “But I thought that for me to grow as a player I would be better off coming to Burnley under this management set-up and this goalkeeping coach [Billy Mercer] and these players. I thought training here every day would make me better and give me the chance to play at the highest level I could.” That chance came when first-choice – and club captain – Tom Heaton dislocated his shoulder in the first-half of the Premier League match at home to Crystal Palace in early September. Suddenly Pope was on. “It’s a jolt, like ‘here it is’,” he recalls, although he was also determined to “enjoy it”.  Pope gathers the ball away from Newcastle's Christian Atsu in their recent Premier League match at Turf Moor  Credit: Getty Images  Which he has done. However, given the taste, it will be hard for him, he admits, to return to the bench if Heaton resumes his place, while there is a collective buzz at Burnley’s season so far. “There is probably a bit of a [long-ball] label around the team since it came back into the Premier League but we take it on the chin, really,” Pope says. “We know what we are, on the inside. We know what we are about. We might score from a set-piece or we might score with 10 passes.” The latter was evident in the flowing move that led to a goal in the win against Swansea City last weekend. “If you saw Man City do that then you would have every analysis of what kind of goal it was. That’s how good it was,” Pope says. “Are we in a realistic position? We are four points clear of eighth so it’s no fluke so far. We have started the season really well and built the foundation and I think where we are is just a good start, that’s all it is.” Pope feels the same about his own Premier League career.

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

It has been a remarkable journey for Nick Pope: from no longer enjoying football and almost feeling relief at being released by the Ipswich Town academy, through eight loan spells and being roughed up in non-League games such as the “big” Kent derby between Welling United and Dartford, to making his debut in the Premier League, where he now tops the charts as having the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper. Better than David de Gea, even. “It’s crazy,” Pope chuckles when told that no goalkeeper has more impressive statistics than him, including three successive clean sheets. The next stage of the journey comes on Saturday when seventh-placed Burnley host sixth-placed Arsenal. “To come this far is a long journey and something I could never have pictured back then.”  The “back then” was when he was 16. He was called into a meeting at Ipswich and told it was over. “Looking back it was the best thing that happened,” Pope states. “It gave me a jolt and forced a change in my life that I probably needed. And in my football, as well. It has worked out but I was devastated at the time.  “It wasn’t a surprise. I had seen it coming. I was low on confidence, didn’t think I was good enough. I remember the games. I wasn’t playing well, wasn’t playing good football and I was called in to a meeting. I was waiting for the bad news, really.” Did he think it was the end of his football career? “I probably did to be honest but being out of the academy system I didn’t really have to think about it,” Pope says. “I didn’t have to worry about whether I was going to get the next contract or the next scholarship or whether I would make it. “It was over. It was all out of the window and I just started to enjoy my football again. I was leaving that system where it’s the very controlled and high-pressure environment of academy football. To come out of it was something that was actually a breath of fresh air.” Still, it was tough. “I was an Ipswich fan [and season ticket-holder]. So it was nothing I felt could ever walk away from because if they allowed me to train with them it was like it was a massive honour,” Pope says.  Pope forced to stretch for the save as he maintains three successive clean sheets for Burnley  Credit: Reuters “I wasn’t massively enjoying it but had no other option until they told me, ‘We don’t want you here any more’. It’s hard. After you’ve been in a system for a few years and are used to it, the tag of being in an academy. In a school you might be the only one in there who is in an academy, and to lose that and to stop is a big blow and some find it hard to recover from and find another route.” So Pope had to think about life away from football. “I studied marketing for two years and a year of sports science,” he says, although there was an alternative. “My old man is a farmer [in Suffolk] so I could have gone in to that, maybe. But I wasn’t that worried about football. I was out of it for 18 months, two years and there was talk of being offered trials but nothing ever came up, so I had stopped getting excited.” Instead he went to college and played non-League “men’s football”, firstly with Bury Town in Suffolk. “You meet some people, you really do,” Pope says. “You go to some grounds that are not the best. You have people behind the goals abusing you – and you don’t get that in the academy!  “I quite enjoyed it because it’s so far from what you know. To encounter that so young was something else new and you had to get used to it. It’s considered a level below the academy but it was just what I needed really.” Pope earned a place at Nottingham University but then a contract was offered – by Charlton Athletic – which was followed by a raft of loan spells: to Harrow Borough and Welling, where he remembers playing the “derby” against Dartford twice in four days, to Aldershot – “a tough one for me,” he admits – to York City and so on. “I went from the Conference South to Charlton in the Championship, and that’s not a step any goalkeeper would realistically make,” Pope says, which is why he then went on loan so often. Every time you have to prove yourself. It’s  like being on trial even though you have the Charlton name as a Championship club, it itself won’t take you.” Pope made an impression, though, and so much so that he had a big decision to make: stay at Charlton, who had just been relegated to League One, or move to Burnley as third-choice goalkeeper. “At that point I could have stayed at Charlton and played, probably,” Pope, now 25, says. “But I thought that for me to grow as a player I would be better off coming to Burnley under this management set-up and this goalkeeping coach [Billy Mercer] and these players. I thought training here every day would make me better and give me the chance to play at the highest level I could.” That chance came when first-choice – and club captain – Tom Heaton dislocated his shoulder in the first-half of the Premier League match at home to Crystal Palace in early September. Suddenly Pope was on. “It’s a jolt, like ‘here it is’,” he recalls, although he was also determined to “enjoy it”.  Pope gathers the ball away from Newcastle's Christian Atsu in their recent Premier League match at Turf Moor  Credit: Getty Images  Which he has done. However, given the taste, it will be hard for him, he admits, to return to the bench if Heaton resumes his place, while there is a collective buzz at Burnley’s season so far. “There is probably a bit of a [long-ball] label around the team since it came back into the Premier League but we take it on the chin, really,” Pope says. “We know what we are, on the inside. We know what we are about. We might score from a set-piece or we might score with 10 passes.” The latter was evident in the flowing move that led to a goal in the win against Swansea City last weekend. “If you saw Man City do that then you would have every analysis of what kind of goal it was. That’s how good it was,” Pope says. “Are we in a realistic position? We are four points clear of eighth so it’s no fluke so far. We have started the season really well and built the foundation and I think where we are is just a good start, that’s all it is.” Pope feels the same about his own Premier League career.

David Unsworth refuses to criticise his treatment by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri during manager hunt

Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has urged owner Farhad Moshiri to appoint a permanent manager quickly, but refused to criticise the Iranian over his own personal treatment. Moshiri released a statement to a national radio station on Friday morning which claimed he had a three-man shortlist for the position and hoped to have a new man in place soon. Watford boss Marco Silva, RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick and Sam Allardyce have all been linked with the job, which has been vacant since Ronald Koeman was sacked on October 23. Unsworth claimed he “does not know” if he is on Moshiri’s shortlist having only heard about the statement made by the club’s majority shareholder shortly before his afternoon media briefing. The ex-Everton defender was asked if the timing of Moshiri’s announcement – while he was working with the club's players on the training ground at Finch Farm - conveyed a lack of respect. “What will be will be,” Unsworth said ahead of Everton’s clash with Southampton on Sunday. David Unsworth is backing defender Michael Keane to come good for Everton  Credit: Getty Images  “I am a proud man and I have stood proud for five weeks. Until someone tells me otherwise I will continue to be a proud man. “Before I came into the press conference I was made aware of it so I am delighted if that’s the case. The sooner it's sorted the better, I think that would be fair comment. “This is a wonderful job for any aspiring manager, any senior manager, any manager of any club in the world.” Unsworth also backed Everton centre-back Michael Keane to come good following a difficult start to his career at Goodison Park following a £30m switch from Burnley in the summer. “Is his confidence as high as it could be? Probably not,” added the interim Toffees boss. “I just think Michael and our back four have to return to basics. In terms of defending, anyway, it’s okay to put the ball in row z and be organised to keep a clean sheet. “We have seen in spells he is more than capable of producing performances. Michael will be fine because he is the right type; he is honest, humble, and he is keen to learn.”

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

It has been a remarkable journey for Nick Pope: from no longer enjoying football and almost feeling relief at being released by the Ipswich Town academy, through eight loan spells and being roughed up in non-League games such as the “big” Kent derby between Welling United and Dartford, to making his debut in the Premier League, where he now tops the charts as having the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper. Better than David de Gea, even. “It’s crazy,” Pope chuckles when told that no goalkeeper has more impressive statistics than him, including three successive clean sheets. The next stage of the journey comes on Saturday when seventh-placed Burnley host sixth-placed Arsenal. “To come this far is a long journey and something I could never have pictured back then.”  The “back then” was when he was 16. He was called into a meeting at Ipswich and told it was over. “Looking back it was the best thing that happened,” Pope states. “It gave me a jolt and forced a change in my life that I probably needed. And in my football, as well. It has worked out but I was devastated at the time.  “It wasn’t a surprise. I had seen it coming. I was low on confidence, didn’t think I was good enough. I remember the games. I wasn’t playing well, wasn’t playing good football and I was called in to a meeting. I was waiting for the bad news, really.” Did he think it was the end of his football career? “I probably did to be honest but being out of the academy system I didn’t really have to think about it,” Pope says. “I didn’t have to worry about whether I was going to get the next contract or the next scholarship or whether I would make it. “It was over. It was all out of the window and I just started to enjoy my football again. I was leaving that system where it’s the very controlled and high-pressure environment of academy football. To come out of it was something that was actually a breath of fresh air.” Still, it was tough. “I was an Ipswich fan [and season ticket-holder]. So it was nothing I felt could ever walk away from because if they allowed me to train with them it was like it was a massive honour,” Pope says.  Pope forced to stretch for the save as he maintains three successive clean sheets for Burnley  Credit: Reuters “I wasn’t massively enjoying it but had no other option until they told me, ‘We don’t want you here any more’. It’s hard. After you’ve been in a system for a few years and are used to it, the tag of being in an academy. In a school you might be the only one in there who is in an academy, and to lose that and to stop is a big blow and some find it hard to recover from and find another route.” So Pope had to think about life away from football. “I studied marketing for two years and a year of sports science,” he says, although there was an alternative. “My old man is a farmer [in Suffolk] so I could have gone in to that, maybe. But I wasn’t that worried about football. I was out of it for 18 months, two years and there was talk of being offered trials but nothing ever came up, so I had stopped getting excited.” Instead he went to college and played non-League “men’s football”, firstly with Bury Town in Suffolk. “You meet some people, you really do,” Pope says. “You go to some grounds that are not the best. You have people behind the goals abusing you – and you don’t get that in the academy!  “I quite enjoyed it because it’s so far from what you know. To encounter that so young was something else new and you had to get used to it. It’s considered a level below the academy but it was just what I needed really.” Pope earned a place at Nottingham University but then a contract was offered – by Charlton Athletic – which was followed by a raft of loan spells: to Harrow Borough and Welling, where he remembers playing the “derby” against Dartford twice in four days, to Aldershot – “a tough one for me,” he admits – to York City and so on. “I went from the Conference South to Charlton in the Championship, and that’s not a step any goalkeeper would realistically make,” Pope says, which is why he then went on loan so often. Every time you have to prove yourself. It’s  like being on trial even though you have the Charlton name as a Championship club, it itself won’t take you.” Pope made an impression, though, and so much so that he had a big decision to make: stay at Charlton, who had just been relegated to League One, or move to Burnley as third-choice goalkeeper. “At that point I could have stayed at Charlton and played, probably,” Pope, now 25, says. “But I thought that for me to grow as a player I would be better off coming to Burnley under this management set-up and this goalkeeping coach [Billy Mercer] and these players. I thought training here every day would make me better and give me the chance to play at the highest level I could.” That chance came when first-choice – and club captain – Tom Heaton dislocated his shoulder in the first-half of the Premier League match at home to Crystal Palace in early September. Suddenly Pope was on. “It’s a jolt, like ‘here it is’,” he recalls, although he was also determined to “enjoy it”.  Pope gathers the ball away from Newcastle's Christian Atsu in their recent Premier League match at Turf Moor  Credit: Getty Images  Which he has done. However, given the taste, it will be hard for him, he admits, to return to the bench if Heaton resumes his place, while there is a collective buzz at Burnley’s season so far. “There is probably a bit of a [long-ball] label around the team since it came back into the Premier League but we take it on the chin, really,” Pope says. “We know what we are, on the inside. We know what we are about. We might score from a set-piece or we might score with 10 passes.” The latter was evident in the flowing move that led to a goal in the win against Swansea City last weekend. “If you saw Man City do that then you would have every analysis of what kind of goal it was. That’s how good it was,” Pope says. “Are we in a realistic position? We are four points clear of eighth so it’s no fluke so far. We have started the season really well and built the foundation and I think where we are is just a good start, that’s all it is.” Pope feels the same about his own Premier League career.

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

Exclusive interview: How Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope went from outcast to England's top stopper

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Burnley

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Turf Moor on Sunday

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

Burnley vs Arsenal: Team news and prediction for Sunday's game

What is it? Why, it's only the Premier League meeting between high-flying Burnley – seventh in the table – and Arsenal who are one place above Sean Dyche's side by way of goal difference. Both sides have 22 points. When is it? Sunday Nov 26, 2017. What time is kick-off? Referee Lee Mason will get the match at Turf Moor under way at 2pm (GMT). Mason, incidentally, will be joined by Harry Lennard and Matthew Wilkes who will be running the lines while Jonathan Moss, no not the drummer from Culture Club, will be fourth official. What TV channel is it on? It is not on the telly. Sad news, eh? However, if you want to keep abreast of the happenings down at Turf Moor then fear not, bookmark this here page and join us from around 1pm for our live minute-by-minute commentary.  What is the team news? Chris Wood is set to return to the Burnley starting line-up for their Premier League game with Arsenal. Wood missed last week's 2-0 win over Swansea following his late arrival back from World Cup play-off duty with New Zealand, but is expected to replace Ashley Barnes in the starting line-up. Jon Walters and Dean Marney are making steady progress with knee injuries but are not ready to figure, while goalkeeper Tom Heaton is still out after his shoulder operation. Provisional squad: Pope, Lindegaard, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Ward, Tarkowski, Bardsley, Defour, Brady, Ulvestad, Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, Arfield, Gudmunsson, Vokes, Barnes, Wood. Pick your Burnley XI to start against Arsenal Arsenal will recall a host of first-team regulars for their trip to Turf Moor. Arsène Wenger made 11 changes for Thursday's Europa League defeat at Cologne but his side on Sunday will likely resemble that which beat Tottenham in the north London derby last weekend. Santi Cazorla (ankle) is the only absentee for Arsenal with Danny Welbeck in contention despite coming off at half-time in Germany having recovered from a recent groin problem. Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Mertesacker, Holding, Koscielny, Mustafi, Chambers, Monreal, Debuchy, Bellerín, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Wilshere, Xhaka, Elneny, Özil, Walcott, Sánchez, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Giroud. Pick your Arsenal XI to start against Burnley What are they saying? "It is an opportunity to measure ourselves against one of the top clubs in the division. It's about building on what we have been doing and so far we have been doing well with that. "There is no exact measurement – beyond the result, it is about how you are performing against the most powerful teams over a season. "It is about the bigger picture and how the team is moving forward on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis." Burnley manager Sean Dyche Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Burnley to win:5/1 Draw: 7/2 Arsenal to win: 8/15 What's our prediction? Sean Dyche's Burnley are emerging as one of the surprise packages of the season and the visit of Arsene Wenger has all the makings of another upset. Arsenal have regularly come unstuck at difficult venues and a Burnley win would take Dyche's men above them in the Premier League table. Prediction: Burnley 1 Arsenal 1

Premier League Bingo: How many points can you accumulate from the weekend's fixtures?

West Ham United vs Leicester City (Friday, 8pm) 5 points: A late Mark Noble penalty proves to be a consolation goal as West Ham slump to a 2-1 home defeat.  15 points: David Moyes wishes there was a sale on every weekend at Westfield Stratford so that his team could play all of their games away from the London Stadium.  25 points: The teams walk out of the tunnel to the funeral march, but Moyes denies claims the atmosphere is overly pessimistic.  Crystal Palace vs Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Crystal Palace finally get the result their xG merits and record a 3-1 home victory.  15 points: Wilfried Zaha sends the hapless striker turner wing-back Mame Biram Diouf down the shop for sweets with a dazzling array of stepovers.  25 points: Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross give fans a glimpse of England's centre-back pairing had Sam Allardyce remained manager.  Manchester United vs Brighton and Hove Albion (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Jose Mourinho's side score four yet again at Old Trafford and cruise to three points.  15 points: Anthony Martial proves himself to be marginally better than Glenn Murray, and not because of his fancy French name.  25 points: Luke Shaw tries to board Brighton's team coach and spring a Prison Break style escape back to the south coast.  Luke Shaw looks to be on his way out of Man Utd Credit: Reuters Newcastle United vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Marco Silva's side continue to be an exciting watch on their travels and triumph 3-2 at St James' Park.  15 points: Mike Ashley makes sure to tidy up and have a hoover around as he tries sell the club to new investors.  25 points: 50,000 people sign a petition asking for the game to be replayed because they were deprived of watching Troy Deeney and Jonjo Shelvey on the pitch at the same time.  Swansea vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Paul Clement inches towards being the next British manager to be sacked after a dismal 0-0 home draw. 15 points: Another week flies by without Wilfried Bony scoring some goals for Swansea.  25 points: Swansea set a new Premier League record for most appearances in the final slot on Match of the Day.  Tottenham Hotspur vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Spurs suffer the effects of another European hangover but win another game 1-0 at Wembley. 15 points: This is the game when Mauricio Pochettino finally drops Dele Alli to the bench. 25 points: Garry Megson forgets what decade it is and picks a West Brom XI containing Nathan Ellington and Scott Dobbie.  Gary Megson is West Brom caretaker manager Credit: PA Liverpool vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm) 5 points: Jurgen Klopp maintains his impressive record against the 'Big Six' but a late Chelsea equaliser earns them a 2-2 draw at Anfield.  15 points: After the performance of Alberto Moreno and James Milner in Sevilla, Klopp decided to play without a left-back.  25 points: 36% of viewers resort to hiding behind the sofa to avert eyes and ears from the unbearable banter between Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.  Southampton vs Everton (Sunday, 1.30 pm) 5 points: David Unsworth's side continue their descent into oblivion with a lifeless 2-0 defeat on the south coast.  15 points: Wayne Rooney is sent off for a second bookable offence after booting the ball away in frustration.  25 points: Ashley Williams shouting and pointing earns him plenty of praise from the punditocracy despite being at fault for a goal.  The genius of Pep Guardiola: Eight things he has done to make Man City so frighteningly good Burnley vs Arsenal (Sunday, 2pm) 5 points: Arsenal, who of course are incapable of 'grinding out a result', win 2-1 courtesy of a late Aaron Ramsey strike.  15 points: Sean Dyche, linked with Everton and touted as a future England manager, complains that he does not get the praise he deserves.  25 points: There is a minute's silence for the cow hit by a train last October, the incident left Arsenal fans scrambling to make this fixture on time.  Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4pm) 5 points: Chequebook manager Pep Guardiola buys himself another three points with a sensational 5-1 away win. 15 points: Some smart alec muses how Guardiola would fare as Huddersfield manager, in the season's most pointless thought experiment.  25 points: Manchester City fans bring their inflatable bananas and retro away kits to relieve the days when City used to face Huddersfield in the second division. 

Premier League Bingo: How many points can you accumulate from the weekend's fixtures?

West Ham United vs Leicester City (Friday, 8pm) 5 points: A late Mark Noble penalty proves to be a consolation goal as West Ham slump to a 2-1 home defeat.  15 points: David Moyes wishes there was a sale on every weekend at Westfield Stratford so that his team could play all of their games away from the London Stadium.  25 points: The teams walk out of the tunnel to the funeral march, but Moyes denies claims the atmosphere is overly pessimistic.  Crystal Palace vs Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Crystal Palace finally get the result their xG merits and record a 3-1 home victory.  15 points: Wilfried Zaha sends the hapless striker turner wing-back Mame Biram Diouf down the shop for sweets with a dazzling array of stepovers.  25 points: Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross give fans a glimpse of England's centre-back pairing had Sam Allardyce remained manager.  Manchester United vs Brighton and Hove Albion (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Jose Mourinho's side score four yet again at Old Trafford and cruise to three points.  15 points: Anthony Martial proves himself to be marginally better than Glenn Murray, and not because of his fancy French name.  25 points: Luke Shaw tries to board Brighton's team coach and spring a Prison Break style escape back to the south coast.  Luke Shaw looks to be on his way out of Man Utd Credit: Reuters Newcastle United vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Marco Silva's side continue to be an exciting watch on their travels and triumph 3-2 at St James' Park.  15 points: Mike Ashley makes sure to tidy up and have a hoover around as he tries sell the club to new investors.  25 points: 50,000 people sign a petition asking for the game to be replayed because they were deprived of watching Troy Deeney and Jonjo Shelvey on the pitch at the same time.  Swansea vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Paul Clement inches towards being the next British manager to be sacked after a dismal 0-0 home draw. 15 points: Another week flies by without Wilfried Bony scoring some goals for Swansea.  25 points: Swansea set a new Premier League record for most appearances in the final slot on Match of the Day.  Tottenham Hotspur vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Spurs suffer the effects of another European hangover but win another game 1-0 at Wembley. 15 points: This is the game when Mauricio Pochettino finally drops Dele Alli to the bench. 25 points: Garry Megson forgets what decade it is and picks a West Brom XI containing Nathan Ellington and Scott Dobbie.  Gary Megson is West Brom caretaker manager Credit: PA Liverpool vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm) 5 points: Jurgen Klopp maintains his impressive record against the 'Big Six' but a late Chelsea equaliser earns them a 2-2 draw at Anfield.  15 points: After the performance of Alberto Moreno and James Milner in Sevilla, Klopp decided to play without a left-back.  25 points: 36% of viewers resort to hiding behind the sofa to avert eyes and ears from the unbearable banter between Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.  Southampton vs Everton (Sunday, 1.30 pm) 5 points: David Unsworth's side continue their descent into oblivion with a lifeless 2-0 defeat on the south coast.  15 points: Wayne Rooney is sent off for a second bookable offence after booting the ball away in frustration.  25 points: Ashley Williams shouting and pointing earns him plenty of praise from the punditocracy despite being at fault for a goal.  The genius of Pep Guardiola: Eight things he has done to make Man City so frighteningly good Burnley vs Arsenal (Sunday, 2pm) 5 points: Arsenal, who of course are incapable of 'grinding out a result', win 2-1 courtesy of a late Aaron Ramsey strike.  15 points: Sean Dyche, linked with Everton and touted as a future England manager, complains that he does not get the praise he deserves.  25 points: There is a minute's silence for the cow hit by a train last October, the incident left Arsenal fans scrambling to make this fixture on time.  Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4pm) 5 points: Chequebook manager Pep Guardiola buys himself another three points with a sensational 5-1 away win. 15 points: Some smart alec muses how Guardiola would fare as Huddersfield manager, in the season's most pointless thought experiment.  25 points: Manchester City fans bring their inflatable bananas and retro away kits to relieve the days when City used to face Huddersfield in the second division. 

Premier League Bingo: How many points can you accumulate from the weekend's fixtures?

West Ham United vs Leicester City (Friday, 8pm) 5 points: A late Mark Noble penalty proves to be a consolation goal as West Ham slump to a 2-1 home defeat.  15 points: David Moyes wishes there was a sale on every weekend at Westfield Stratford so that his team could play all of their games away from the London Stadium.  25 points: The teams walk out of the tunnel to the funeral march, but Moyes denies claims the atmosphere is overly pessimistic.  Crystal Palace vs Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Crystal Palace finally get the result their xG merits and record a 3-1 home victory.  15 points: Wilfried Zaha sends the hapless striker turner wing-back Mame Biram Diouf down the shop for sweets with a dazzling array of stepovers.  25 points: Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross give fans a glimpse of England's centre-back pairing had Sam Allardyce remained manager.  Manchester United vs Brighton and Hove Albion (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Jose Mourinho's side score four yet again at Old Trafford and cruise to three points.  15 points: Anthony Martial proves himself to be marginally better than Glenn Murray, and not because of his fancy French name.  25 points: Luke Shaw tries to board Brighton's team coach and spring a Prison Break style escape back to the south coast.  Luke Shaw looks to be on his way out of Man Utd Credit: Reuters Newcastle United vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Marco Silva's side continue to be an exciting watch on their travels and triumph 3-2 at St James' Park.  15 points: Mike Ashley makes sure to tidy up and have a hoover around as he tries sell the club to new investors.  25 points: 50,000 people sign a petition asking for the game to be replayed because they were deprived of watching Troy Deeney and Jonjo Shelvey on the pitch at the same time.  Swansea vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Paul Clement inches towards being the next British manager to be sacked after a dismal 0-0 home draw. 15 points: Another week flies by without Wilfried Bony scoring some goals for Swansea.  25 points: Swansea set a new Premier League record for most appearances in the final slot on Match of the Day.  Tottenham Hotspur vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm) 5 points: Spurs suffer the effects of another European hangover but win another game 1-0 at Wembley. 15 points: This is the game when Mauricio Pochettino finally drops Dele Alli to the bench. 25 points: Garry Megson forgets what decade it is and picks a West Brom XI containing Nathan Ellington and Scott Dobbie.  Gary Megson is West Brom caretaker manager Credit: PA Liverpool vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm) 5 points: Jurgen Klopp maintains his impressive record against the 'Big Six' but a late Chelsea equaliser earns them a 2-2 draw at Anfield.  15 points: After the performance of Alberto Moreno and James Milner in Sevilla, Klopp decided to play without a left-back.  25 points: 36% of viewers resort to hiding behind the sofa to avert eyes and ears from the unbearable banter between Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.  Southampton vs Everton (Sunday, 1.30 pm) 5 points: David Unsworth's side continue their descent into oblivion with a lifeless 2-0 defeat on the south coast.  15 points: Wayne Rooney is sent off for a second bookable offence after booting the ball away in frustration.  25 points: Ashley Williams shouting and pointing earns him plenty of praise from the punditocracy despite being at fault for a goal.  The genius of Pep Guardiola: Eight things he has done to make Man City so frighteningly good Burnley vs Arsenal (Sunday, 2pm) 5 points: Arsenal, who of course are incapable of 'grinding out a result', win 2-1 courtesy of a late Aaron Ramsey strike.  15 points: Sean Dyche, linked with Everton and touted as a future England manager, complains that he does not get the praise he deserves.  25 points: There is a minute's silence for the cow hit by a train last October, the incident left Arsenal fans scrambling to make this fixture on time.  Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4pm) 5 points: Chequebook manager Pep Guardiola buys himself another three points with a sensational 5-1 away win. 15 points: Some smart alec muses how Guardiola would fare as Huddersfield manager, in the season's most pointless thought experiment.  25 points: Manchester City fans bring their inflatable bananas and retro away kits to relieve the days when City used to face Huddersfield in the second division. 

Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - November 18, 2017 Burnley's Stephen Ward shoots at goal. Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - November 18, 2017 Burnley's Jack Cork scores their first goal. Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Swansea City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - November 18, 2017 Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates. Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

Why a tricky winger like Wilfried Zaha could be the final piece in Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs jigsaw

We are more than three months into the Premier League season, and talk of Tottenham Hotspur's form at their temporary abode Wembley has subsided. The vexatious 'curse' that supposedly plagued them at the national stadium is no more, with victories against Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and most notably Real Madrid laying it to rest. A 'home' fixture against managerless West Bromwich Albion then, should be the perfect game to banish memories of a north London derby defeat. Well, perhaps not.  Tottenham's matches at Wembley can be divided into two categories: games in which they gave the ball to their opponents, and games in which their opponents gave the ball to them. The heralded Champions League wins and 4-1 demolition of Liverpool are the former: 10 goals scored, three conceded and average possession of 35%. Home draws with Swansea and Burnley, and a frustrating home defeat against Chelsea are the latter: two goals scored, three conceded and an average possession of 67%. Laboured 1-0 wins over Bournemouth and Crystal Palace were also games in which Spurs monopolised the football.  The timing of the first goal, absentees on each day and general variance have to be taken into account, but Spurs are certainly developing a taste for counter-attacking football. Even at the Emirates last weekend, Spurs enjoyed 58% possession - though they were trying to retrieve a two-goal deficit. However, a striking feature of that match was that they never really threatened a comeback once Arsenal sat off and ceded the ball to them. With all that possession, their Expected Goals total was around 0.6 - their lowest in any league game this season.  Tottenham making hard work of breaking down deep-lying defences is not a fresh development. The seven-point gap to Champions Chelsea last season can be accounted for by rueful away draws at West Brom, Bournemouth and Sunderland and notably, their 1-0 loss to West Ham at the London Stadium. This could also be a behavioural habit picked up by playing at Wembley. The pitch has an extra 440 square metres of space than White Hart Lane and, as Pochettino found out to his cost in Europe last season, Spurs found it difficult to replicate their high-pressing defensive strategy. The extra metre or two here and there meant they were less compact, and accomplished sides like Monaco made them pay. Against Dortmund, Real and Liverpool, Pochettino has altered their approach to more of a 'half-court' press. Spurs drop into their shape, before squeezing opponents in the middle third.  Spurs have enjoyed mixed fortunes at Wembley - dropping points to Burnley and Swansea Credit: Reuters One cannot be too critical of a team who have accumulated more points than anyone in the Premier League over the last two years, but at times Spurs' attacking play can be appear rudimentary. They are very direct, firing off shots from all manner of angles and distances. Fortunately, one of those players shooting on sight is Harry Kane, and his efforts have an uncanny tendency to find the bottom corner. However, they are not really a creative team in the traditional sense - only Christian Eriksen brings some forensic precision in the final third, and they have no comparable player elsewhere in the squad. Dele Alli may have started his Tottenham career in central midfield, but he is developing into more of a second striker whose strengths are off-the-ball movement and anticipation in the penalty area. Notwithstanding the more prosaic point that he is just not playing very well.  Hence, when teams sit in against Spurs, defending their six-yard box with a barricade of defenders to block their shots and driven crosses, it can be a struggle to forge an opening. There are several ways to break down this type of approach. One is with shots from distance - the most inefficient option but one Spurs are happy to try. Another is though crosses stood up from the byline. The more 'sophisticated' option is to play through the standing bodies with sharp one-touch inter-play. Spurs are capable of this, but it is not as engrained in their style as Manchester City or Arsenal.  Another route around the deep-lying defence is with a pacy dribbler to crack open the game. Beating one man and taking a piece off the chessboard can send a rearguard into chaos as they are forced to make quick adjustments. The lack of this profile of player is the one hole in an otherwise well-balanced, organised Tottenham collective.  Tottenham wave goodbye to White Hart Lane Spurs, particularly when they employ three-centre backs, tend to get their width with their full-backs. Kieran Trippier has excellent delivery, but is never going to beat a player. Serge Aurier can be a fantastic outlet, but tends to favour playing a one-two with a teammate and galloping into space. Against the lesser likes at Wembley this space is not always there. Danny Rose is probably a combination of the two styles, but his long-term future at the club is unclear.  Reports of their interest in Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha therefore, makes perfect sense. Some Spurs fans might struggle to get excited about spending a substantial amount on a player whose best Premier League season consisted of seven goals and 11 assists. However, he is shining in a struggling Palace outfit and has all of the attributes to fill Tottenham's void in wide areas. In the absence of Christian Benteke, Zaha has also played through the middle and carried the responsibility of being his team's main goalscorer.  Zaha might be short of the 'world class' player fans crave (what does the phrase really mean anyway?) but he possesses attributes this Tottenham squad lack. When that is the case, it is usually a good idea to try to acquire them. 

Why a tricky winger like Wilfried Zaha could be the final piece in Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs jigsaw

We are more than three months into the Premier League season, and talk of Tottenham Hotspur's form at their temporary abode Wembley has subsided. The vexatious 'curse' that supposedly plagued them at the national stadium is no more, with victories against Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and most notably Real Madrid laying it to rest. A 'home' fixture against managerless West Bromwich Albion then, should be the perfect game to banish memories of a north London derby defeat. Well, perhaps not.  Tottenham's matches at Wembley can be divided into two categories: games in which they gave the ball to their opponents, and games in which their opponents gave the ball to them. The heralded Champions League wins and 4-1 demolition of Liverpool are the former: 10 goals scored, three conceded and average possession of 35%. Home draws with Swansea and Burnley, and a frustrating home defeat against Chelsea are the latter: two goals scored, three conceded and an average possession of 67%. Laboured 1-0 wins over Bournemouth and Crystal Palace were also games in which Spurs monopolised the football.  The timing of the first goal, absentees on each day and general variance have to be taken into account, but Spurs are certainly developing a taste for counter-attacking football. Even at the Emirates last weekend, Spurs enjoyed 58% possession - though they were trying to retrieve a two-goal deficit. However, a striking feature of that match was that they never really threatened a comeback once Arsenal sat off and ceded the ball to them. With all that possession, their Expected Goals total was around 0.6 - their lowest in any league game this season.  Tottenham making hard work of breaking down deep-lying defences is not a fresh development. The seven-point gap to Champions Chelsea last season can be accounted for by rueful away draws at West Brom, Bournemouth and Sunderland and notably, their 1-0 loss to West Ham at the London Stadium. This could also be a behavioural habit picked up by playing at Wembley. The pitch has an extra 440 square metres of space than White Hart Lane and, as Pochettino found out to his cost in Europe last season, Spurs found it difficult to replicate their high-pressing defensive strategy. The extra metre or two here and there meant they were less compact, and accomplished sides like Monaco made them pay. Against Dortmund, Real and Liverpool, Pochettino has altered their approach to more of a 'half-court' press. Spurs drop into their shape, before squeezing opponents in the middle third.  Spurs have enjoyed mixed fortunes at Wembley - dropping points to Burnley and Swansea Credit: Reuters One cannot be too critical of a team who have accumulated more points than anyone in the Premier League over the last two years, but at times Spurs' attacking play can be appear rudimentary. They are very direct, firing off shots from all manner of angles and distances. Fortunately, one of those players shooting on sight is Harry Kane, and his efforts have an uncanny tendency to find the bottom corner. However, they are not really a creative team in the traditional sense - only Christian Eriksen brings some forensic precision in the final third, and they have no comparable player elsewhere in the squad. Dele Alli may have started his Tottenham career in central midfield, but he is developing into more of a second striker whose strengths are off-the-ball movement and anticipation in the penalty area. Notwithstanding the more prosaic point that he is just not playing very well.  Hence, when teams sit in against Spurs, defending their six-yard box with a barricade of defenders to block their shots and driven crosses, it can be a struggle to forge an opening. There are several ways to break down this type of approach. One is with shots from distance - the most inefficient option but one Spurs are happy to try. Another is though crosses stood up from the byline. The more 'sophisticated' option is to play through the standing bodies with sharp one-touch inter-play. Spurs are capable of this, but it is not as engrained in their style as Manchester City or Arsenal.  Another route around the deep-lying defence is with a pacy dribbler to crack open the game. Beating one man and taking a piece off the chessboard can send a rearguard into chaos as they are forced to make quick adjustments. The lack of this profile of player is the one hole in an otherwise well-balanced, organised Tottenham collective.  Tottenham wave goodbye to White Hart Lane Spurs, particularly when they employ three-centre backs, tend to get their width with their full-backs. Kieran Trippier has excellent delivery, but is never going to beat a player. Serge Aurier can be a fantastic outlet, but tends to favour playing a one-two with a teammate and galloping into space. Against the lesser likes at Wembley this space is not always there. Danny Rose is probably a combination of the two styles, but his long-term future at the club is unclear.  Reports of their interest in Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha therefore, makes perfect sense. Some Spurs fans might struggle to get excited about spending a substantial amount on a player whose best Premier League season consisted of seven goals and 11 assists. However, he is shining in a struggling Palace outfit and has all of the attributes to fill Tottenham's void in wide areas. In the absence of Christian Benteke, Zaha has also played through the middle and carried the responsibility of being his team's main goalscorer.  Zaha might be short of the 'world class' player fans crave (what does the phrase really mean anyway?) but he possesses attributes this Tottenham squad lack. When that is the case, it is usually a good idea to try to acquire them. 

Burnley vs Arsenal: Premier League prediction, team news, line-ups, start time, live, TV, head to head, odds

Burnley vs Arsenal: Premier League prediction, team news, line-ups, start time, live, TV, head to head, odds

Burnley vs Arsenal: Premier League prediction, team news, line-ups, start time, live, TV, head to head, odds

FC Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger's dreadful run in Germany continues with unexpected loss

After the champagne sparkle of that stirring victory over Tottenham Hotspur, this was the annoying hangover. Arsenal will go through as winners of Group H, in their first foray into the rebranded Europa League, but this was an unexpected, uninspiring performance which maintains Cologne’s hopes of joining them in the knock-out stage. Sehrou Guirassy’s second-half penalty inflicted a first defeat on Arsenal in Europe this season to ensure another miserable experience for Arsene Wenger on German soil. Wenger has now gone four games without a win in this country. BATE Borisov’s stalemate with Red Star Belgrade rendered this result largely irrelevant, but this was a world away from the thrilling win over Mauricio Pochettino last Saturday. Danny Welbeck played 45 minutes in his first appearance since the 2-1 defeat at Watford in October and looked sharp, while there was another encouraging performance from young winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles. But that was as good as it got, with the scenes of wild celebration at the end belonging to Cologne’s supporters, as they savoured a memorable night and only a second win at the RheinEnergieStadion this season. Danny Welbeck returned for Arsenal Credit: Reuters Wenger said: “You feel like you have done the job if you finish top of the group. I will tell you what it means after the draw, but finishing top is what we wanted. “We have lost a game here with their only shot on goal so that is disappointing. It is not a penalty at all and we missed a little bit in the final third. “We had plenty of dangerous situations but we always missed a little something to finish our chances. The pitch was a little handicap but I cannot fault the preparation or the concentration of the players.” There was a timely return for Welbeck, a striker anxious to make up for lost time, as Wenger made 11 changes to the starting XI that humbled Spurs. Welbeck’s hopes of being included in England’s squad for the World Cup next year are very much under threat after playing only one game in the last two months. Jack Wilshere makes a point to the ref Credit: Getty Images Gareth Southgate has a determination to utilise emerging talent while he also warned that players who do not play consistently for their club sides are in danger of missing out. Welbeck was clearly on a mission to make an impression before he was taken off at half-time as a precaution, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley. “He was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off but he’s in good shape,” said Wenger. “It was planned before the game because we have three games coming up and medically it would have been a risk to play him for longer. He has no problem but he's been out for a while." Arsenal had secured qualification before this trip to western Germany but this was a typically mundane experience in the competition viewed as European football’s wooden spoon. In a lifeless first-half Arsenal came closest to taking the lead from the most unlikely of sources. Francis Coquelin is still waiting patiently for his first goal, nine years after making his debut, and nearly produced a Eureka moment on the half hour when unmarked in the box - but he struck the post from six yards. Sehrou Guirassy scores from the spot Credit: Reuters Cologne are currently the Bundesliga’s bottom club and their game plan was to use pace against an Arsenal back three not renowned for mobility but counter-attacks frequently collapsed, much to the frustration of a boisterous home support. Yet the crucial moment came just after the hour, when Mathieu Debuchy clumsily fouled Guirassy in the area. Guirassy, who had proved a sporadic menace, dispatched the penalty with ease and the noise was deafening, the two towers either side of the stand flashing red and white. Arsenal did respond, with Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere both forcing dramatic saves from Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn. Reiss Nelson, an Arsenal substitute, also tested Horn as time ticked away before Wilshere was denied, again spectacularly, in added time. Yet Cologne secured the victory which sets up an intriguing final game against Red Star next month. 7:55PM Full time, Cologne nab the win Arsenal were the better side on the whole but Cologne did well to nick all three points. For the home side, it's a famous European win against one of the biggest clubs in England. For Arsenal, it's a mildly embarrassing result against the side rock bottom of the Bundesliga, though the North Londoners still top the group after Red Star Belgrade could only muster a draw with BATE Borisov. 7:52PM 90+2 mins Wilshere hits an absolute belter from 20 yards, but Timo Horn makes yet another good save. 7:50PM 89 mins Two great chances for Arsenal! First Reiss Nelson winds his way into the box and sees a close-range rocket saved by Timo Horn. Next, Wilshere crosses for Eddie Nketiah to poke home, but several desperate Cologne defenders throw themselves in the way. 7:48PM 88 mins Sehrou Guirassy gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Per Mertesacker. 7:46PM 84 mins Wilshere makes a jinking run forward and chips a pass towards Olivier Giroud, but it's just slightly overhit and the Frenchman can't get a header on goal. 7:43PM 83 mins Arsenal bring on League Cup hero Eddie Nketiah for Mathieu Debuchy. 7:42PM 82 mins Arsenal are sleepwalking to a loss to the bottom side in the Bundesliga, as things stand. It's a much-changed team but, still, a win for Cologne would be a blow to the pride of the players involved. 7:36PM 75 mins Great chance for Olivier Giroud, who makes a rare off-the-shoulder run and gets in one-on-one. Defender Jannes Horn and goalkeeper Timo Horn combine to keep him out. The former is down and in a bit of pain, having made an excellent last-ditch tackle and been caught on the shin by Giroud. Jannes and Timo Horn combine to stop Olivier Giroud Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:33PM 72 mins Cologne use their final substitution to bring off Yuya Osako for midfielder Matthias Lehmann. 7:28PM 67 mins Arsenal make another substitution, with Calum Chambers off for Reiss Nelson. 7:26PM 65 mins Another save for Timo Horn to make, this time a long-range fizzer from the boot of Jack Wilshere. Arsenal are ramping up the pressure but aren't making too many cutting-edge chances right now. 7:24PM 63 mins Chance for Mertesacker! The big German gets a header on target from a corner, but it's pushed out by Timo Horn. Olivier Giroud is inches away from converting on the rebound. Per Mertesacker gets his head to the ball Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:23PM GOAL! Cologne 1-0 Arsenal Cologne are ahead against the general run of play. That penalty decision will be a post-match talking point, with the challenge by Debuchy seeming fairly innocuous. 7:22PM 61 mins Penalty Cologne! Mathieu Debuchy tangles with Guirassy and the referee gives it, though it looks like a questionable decision. 7:20PM 59 mins Chance for Cologne, but Sehrou Guirassy doesn't make the most of it. A long ball falls kindly for the French forward, but he only half connects with the shot and David Ospina scoops it up gratefully. 7:17PM 56 mins It's a second substitution for Cologne, who bring off Jhon Cordoba for Pawel Olkowski. Can Cologne keep Arsenal from scoring this evening? Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 7:16PM 55 mins Iwobi combines with Wilshere and powers to the edge of the Cologne box, but his shot is blocked. 7:12PM 50 mins Maitland-Niles picks up where he left off, winning Arsenal a corner on the left. Elneny's delivery doesn't get past the first man. Not ideal. 7:09PM 48 mins The first yellow card of the match goes to Mathieu Debuchy after a needless foul on Sehrou Guirassy. 7:08PM Substitution for Arsenal Alex Iwobi is on for Danny Welbeck, who Arsene Wenger no doubt wants to protect from a recurrence of his most recent injury. 7:04PM Teams are back out ... for more Europa League football! Hooray! 6:53PM Half time Arsenal started to dominate as the half went on, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles their standout player and Francis Coquelin denied by the post. Cologne have shown very little threat going forwards, with toothlessness up front their main shortcoming as a side. Their defence has been passable, but can they hang on for another 45? Arsenal look to be well on top in Germany Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images 6:47PM 44 mins Elneny takes a long-distance shot which sails harmlessly into the stands. Let's have half time now, please. 6:45PM 42 mins Jack Wilshere wins a free kick in a promising position 30 yards out. Mohamed Elneny's airy delivery is punched away by Timo Horn. 6:44PM 41 mins Welbeck sets up the excellent Maitland-Niles but the youngster's shot rebounds off a wall of bodies. 6:41PM 37 mins Cologne are forced into a substitution after Olivier Giroud and Dominic Maroh come together in the box, with the latter seeming to pull his hamstring in the process. Maroh limps off and Konstantin Rausch comes on in his place. 6:36PM 31 mins Danny Welbeck is the latest Arsenal player to go close, curling a shot just past the far post from the left side of the area. The home side are walking on thin ice here. 6:33PM 29 mins Arsenal hit the post! Olivier Giroud chips a pass through to the onrushing Francis Coquelin, who blasts a shot off the upright and out for a goal kick. No goal, but it's been an enterprising performance from the defensive midfielder so far. Olivier Giroud is slowly playing his way into the game Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 6:32PM 28 mins Ainsley Maitland-Niles again makes massive inroads on the left, lofting a cross straight to the boot of a teammate in front of goal. Sadly, that teammate is Calum Chambers. Timo Horn collects easily. 6:30PM 27 mins Japanese forward Yuya Osako takes a pot shot at David Ospina from long range, but slips over and sees his effort corkscrew horribly wide. That sums up the last ten minutes or so, really. Osako takes on Francis Coquelin Credit: Marius Becker/DPA 6:24PM 19 mins Arsenal have a shot on target and it's off the head of Jack Wilshere, believe it or not. It's straight at Timo Horn, unfortunately. 6:23PM 18 mins Maitland-Niles threads through Olivier Giroud to the left of the area, but the Frenchman gets his feet tangled and fails to make anything of the pass. Could it be one of those nights for Arsenal's No.12? 6:18PM 13 mins Close from Coquelin! Having failed to clear their lines after some messy passing in and around the box, Cologne gift Coquelin an opportunity to shoot from 25 yards. He goes surprisingly close, but his effort slams against the advertising boards. It would have been a turn up for the books had the Frenchman scored. Francis Coquelin in action Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters 6:15PM 11 mins Some lovely skill from Maitland-Niles almost sees him play a dangerous pass across the box, but he is muscled off the ball at the final second. 6:13PM 10 mins Things have quietened down a bit after a lively start to the game. Arsenal are seeing more of the ball, but only just. 6:09PM 5 mins First chance for the home side! Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba roars up the pitch and blasts at goal from a tight angle, forcing David Ospina into a full-stretch save. 6:04PM 2 mins Good early chance for Arsenal, with Welbeck and Wilshere combining well to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles away into the box. His angled shot is saved by Timo Horn, who confidently comes to collect the resulting corner. 6:01PM Minute's applause for Hans Schafer Schafer was Cologne's all-time top goalscorer and made 39 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1954 World Cup. He died earlier this month at 90 years of age. 5:59PM Teams are out ... and Cologne flags are fluttering in the stands. There's plenty of noise coming from the away fans, too, though the Arsenal contingent have a lot to live up to. Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 5:53PM Big night for the home fans Having suffered through a miserable start to the season, Cologne fans will no doubt want to enjoy another big European night against Premier League opposition. Will things be as wild as they were in London a couple of months ago? Maybe not, but the atmosphere is still bound to be mega. 5:42PM Cologne team news #effzeh will begin the match against @Arsenal with three strikers. Bench: Kessler, Olkowski, Risa, Lehmann, Rausch, Nartey, Bisseck #KOEAFC#ReturnoftheGOATpic.twitter.com/xKuEkY3xYD— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) November 23, 2017 5:40PM Europa League Thursdays Coming off the back of a brilliant but no doubt exhausting victory in the North London derby last weekend, Arsenal have a very 'Europa League' flavour to their line-up tonight. Arsene Wenger has named an entirely different team for the trip to Cologne, with notable inclusions for Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere in attack. An unfamiliar back three of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding should be interesting, with the defence now featuring that perfect blend of age, youth and extreme ponderousness. Calum Chambers at right wing-back should be similarly dubious in terms of pace – presuming Arsenal's pre-match graphic is accurate – though whether or not the Cologne attack will be able to take advantage is another question. Cologne are currently bottom of the Bundesliga with two points from 12 games, while they also sit bottom of Europa League Group H. They have scored four goals in the league all season which, let's face it, isn't great. Despite giving Arsenal a momentary scare with an early goal at the Emirates back in September, it would be a considerable upset if Cologne got anything from tonight's fixture. Wenger might have named a squad with one eye firmly on Arsenal's next game against Burnley, but the North Londoners should still come away with all three points at the RheinEnergieStadion – Calum Chambers at right wing-back or not. Arsene Wenger arrives at the RheinEnergieStadion Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 5:04PM Evening all Welcome to coverage of Arsenal's Europa League tie against Cologne, a match which sees the return of Danny Welbeck to first team action. Jack Wilshere also gets a chance to work his way back into Arsenal's Premier League plans with another strong performance in midfield. Here's the full Arsenal line-up: �� How we line up for tonight’s clash with @fckoeln... #COLvAFCpic.twitter.com/pz95afRnB5— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 23, 2017  

FC Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger's dreadful run in Germany continues with unexpected loss

After the champagne sparkle of that stirring victory over Tottenham Hotspur, this was the annoying hangover. Arsenal will go through as winners of Group H, in their first foray into the rebranded Europa League, but this was an unexpected, uninspiring performance which maintains Cologne’s hopes of joining them in the knock-out stage. Sehrou Guirassy’s second-half penalty inflicted a first defeat on Arsenal in Europe this season to ensure another miserable experience for Arsene Wenger on German soil. Wenger has now gone four games without a win in this country. BATE Borisov’s stalemate with Red Star Belgrade rendered this result largely irrelevant, but this was a world away from the thrilling win over Mauricio Pochettino last Saturday. Danny Welbeck played 45 minutes in his first appearance since the 2-1 defeat at Watford in October and looked sharp, while there was another encouraging performance from young winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles. But that was as good as it got, with the scenes of wild celebration at the end belonging to Cologne’s supporters, as they savoured a memorable night and only a second win at the RheinEnergieStadion this season. Danny Welbeck returned for Arsenal Credit: Reuters Wenger said: “You feel like you have done the job if you finish top of the group. I will tell you what it means after the draw, but finishing top is what we wanted. “We have lost a game here with their only shot on goal so that is disappointing. It is not a penalty at all and we missed a little bit in the final third. “We had plenty of dangerous situations but we always missed a little something to finish our chances. The pitch was a little handicap but I cannot fault the preparation or the concentration of the players.” There was a timely return for Welbeck, a striker anxious to make up for lost time, as Wenger made 11 changes to the starting XI that humbled Spurs. Welbeck’s hopes of being included in England’s squad for the World Cup next year are very much under threat after playing only one game in the last two months. Jack Wilshere makes a point to the ref Credit: Getty Images Gareth Southgate has a determination to utilise emerging talent while he also warned that players who do not play consistently for their club sides are in danger of missing out. Welbeck was clearly on a mission to make an impression before he was taken off at half-time as a precaution, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley. “He was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off but he’s in good shape,” said Wenger. “It was planned before the game because we have three games coming up and medically it would have been a risk to play him for longer. He has no problem but he's been out for a while." Arsenal had secured qualification before this trip to western Germany but this was a typically mundane experience in the competition viewed as European football’s wooden spoon. In a lifeless first-half Arsenal came closest to taking the lead from the most unlikely of sources. Francis Coquelin is still waiting patiently for his first goal, nine years after making his debut, and nearly produced a Eureka moment on the half hour when unmarked in the box - but he struck the post from six yards. Sehrou Guirassy scores from the spot Credit: Reuters Cologne are currently the Bundesliga’s bottom club and their game plan was to use pace against an Arsenal back three not renowned for mobility but counter-attacks frequently collapsed, much to the frustration of a boisterous home support. Yet the crucial moment came just after the hour, when Mathieu Debuchy clumsily fouled Guirassy in the area. Guirassy, who had proved a sporadic menace, dispatched the penalty with ease and the noise was deafening, the two towers either side of the stand flashing red and white. Arsenal did respond, with Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere both forcing dramatic saves from Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn. Reiss Nelson, an Arsenal substitute, also tested Horn as time ticked away before Wilshere was denied, again spectacularly, in added time. Yet Cologne secured the victory which sets up an intriguing final game against Red Star next month. 7:55PM Full time, Cologne nab the win Arsenal were the better side on the whole but Cologne did well to nick all three points. For the home side, it's a famous European win against one of the biggest clubs in England. For Arsenal, it's a mildly embarrassing result against the side rock bottom of the Bundesliga, though the North Londoners still top the group after Red Star Belgrade could only muster a draw with BATE Borisov. 7:52PM 90+2 mins Wilshere hits an absolute belter from 20 yards, but Timo Horn makes yet another good save. 7:50PM 89 mins Two great chances for Arsenal! First Reiss Nelson winds his way into the box and sees a close-range rocket saved by Timo Horn. Next, Wilshere crosses for Eddie Nketiah to poke home, but several desperate Cologne defenders throw themselves in the way. 7:48PM 88 mins Sehrou Guirassy gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Per Mertesacker. 7:46PM 84 mins Wilshere makes a jinking run forward and chips a pass towards Olivier Giroud, but it's just slightly overhit and the Frenchman can't get a header on goal. 7:43PM 83 mins Arsenal bring on League Cup hero Eddie Nketiah for Mathieu Debuchy. 7:42PM 82 mins Arsenal are sleepwalking to a loss to the bottom side in the Bundesliga, as things stand. It's a much-changed team but, still, a win for Cologne would be a blow to the pride of the players involved. 7:36PM 75 mins Great chance for Olivier Giroud, who makes a rare off-the-shoulder run and gets in one-on-one. Defender Jannes Horn and goalkeeper Timo Horn combine to keep him out. The former is down and in a bit of pain, having made an excellent last-ditch tackle and been caught on the shin by Giroud. Jannes and Timo Horn combine to stop Olivier Giroud Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:33PM 72 mins Cologne use their final substitution to bring off Yuya Osako for midfielder Matthias Lehmann. 7:28PM 67 mins Arsenal make another substitution, with Calum Chambers off for Reiss Nelson. 7:26PM 65 mins Another save for Timo Horn to make, this time a long-range fizzer from the boot of Jack Wilshere. Arsenal are ramping up the pressure but aren't making too many cutting-edge chances right now. 7:24PM 63 mins Chance for Mertesacker! The big German gets a header on target from a corner, but it's pushed out by Timo Horn. Olivier Giroud is inches away from converting on the rebound. Per Mertesacker gets his head to the ball Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:23PM GOAL! Cologne 1-0 Arsenal Cologne are ahead against the general run of play. That penalty decision will be a post-match talking point, with the challenge by Debuchy seeming fairly innocuous. 7:22PM 61 mins Penalty Cologne! Mathieu Debuchy tangles with Guirassy and the referee gives it, though it looks like a questionable decision. 7:20PM 59 mins Chance for Cologne, but Sehrou Guirassy doesn't make the most of it. A long ball falls kindly for the French forward, but he only half connects with the shot and David Ospina scoops it up gratefully. 7:17PM 56 mins It's a second substitution for Cologne, who bring off Jhon Cordoba for Pawel Olkowski. Can Cologne keep Arsenal from scoring this evening? Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 7:16PM 55 mins Iwobi combines with Wilshere and powers to the edge of the Cologne box, but his shot is blocked. 7:12PM 50 mins Maitland-Niles picks up where he left off, winning Arsenal a corner on the left. Elneny's delivery doesn't get past the first man. Not ideal. 7:09PM 48 mins The first yellow card of the match goes to Mathieu Debuchy after a needless foul on Sehrou Guirassy. 7:08PM Substitution for Arsenal Alex Iwobi is on for Danny Welbeck, who Arsene Wenger no doubt wants to protect from a recurrence of his most recent injury. 7:04PM Teams are back out ... for more Europa League football! Hooray! 6:53PM Half time Arsenal started to dominate as the half went on, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles their standout player and Francis Coquelin denied by the post. Cologne have shown very little threat going forwards, with toothlessness up front their main shortcoming as a side. Their defence has been passable, but can they hang on for another 45? Arsenal look to be well on top in Germany Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images 6:47PM 44 mins Elneny takes a long-distance shot which sails harmlessly into the stands. Let's have half time now, please. 6:45PM 42 mins Jack Wilshere wins a free kick in a promising position 30 yards out. Mohamed Elneny's airy delivery is punched away by Timo Horn. 6:44PM 41 mins Welbeck sets up the excellent Maitland-Niles but the youngster's shot rebounds off a wall of bodies. 6:41PM 37 mins Cologne are forced into a substitution after Olivier Giroud and Dominic Maroh come together in the box, with the latter seeming to pull his hamstring in the process. Maroh limps off and Konstantin Rausch comes on in his place. 6:36PM 31 mins Danny Welbeck is the latest Arsenal player to go close, curling a shot just past the far post from the left side of the area. The home side are walking on thin ice here. 6:33PM 29 mins Arsenal hit the post! Olivier Giroud chips a pass through to the onrushing Francis Coquelin, who blasts a shot off the upright and out for a goal kick. No goal, but it's been an enterprising performance from the defensive midfielder so far. Olivier Giroud is slowly playing his way into the game Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 6:32PM 28 mins Ainsley Maitland-Niles again makes massive inroads on the left, lofting a cross straight to the boot of a teammate in front of goal. Sadly, that teammate is Calum Chambers. Timo Horn collects easily. 6:30PM 27 mins Japanese forward Yuya Osako takes a pot shot at David Ospina from long range, but slips over and sees his effort corkscrew horribly wide. That sums up the last ten minutes or so, really. Osako takes on Francis Coquelin Credit: Marius Becker/DPA 6:24PM 19 mins Arsenal have a shot on target and it's off the head of Jack Wilshere, believe it or not. It's straight at Timo Horn, unfortunately. 6:23PM 18 mins Maitland-Niles threads through Olivier Giroud to the left of the area, but the Frenchman gets his feet tangled and fails to make anything of the pass. Could it be one of those nights for Arsenal's No.12? 6:18PM 13 mins Close from Coquelin! Having failed to clear their lines after some messy passing in and around the box, Cologne gift Coquelin an opportunity to shoot from 25 yards. He goes surprisingly close, but his effort slams against the advertising boards. It would have been a turn up for the books had the Frenchman scored. Francis Coquelin in action Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters 6:15PM 11 mins Some lovely skill from Maitland-Niles almost sees him play a dangerous pass across the box, but he is muscled off the ball at the final second. 6:13PM 10 mins Things have quietened down a bit after a lively start to the game. Arsenal are seeing more of the ball, but only just. 6:09PM 5 mins First chance for the home side! Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba roars up the pitch and blasts at goal from a tight angle, forcing David Ospina into a full-stretch save. 6:04PM 2 mins Good early chance for Arsenal, with Welbeck and Wilshere combining well to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles away into the box. His angled shot is saved by Timo Horn, who confidently comes to collect the resulting corner. 6:01PM Minute's applause for Hans Schafer Schafer was Cologne's all-time top goalscorer and made 39 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1954 World Cup. He died earlier this month at 90 years of age. 5:59PM Teams are out ... and Cologne flags are fluttering in the stands. There's plenty of noise coming from the away fans, too, though the Arsenal contingent have a lot to live up to. Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 5:53PM Big night for the home fans Having suffered through a miserable start to the season, Cologne fans will no doubt want to enjoy another big European night against Premier League opposition. Will things be as wild as they were in London a couple of months ago? Maybe not, but the atmosphere is still bound to be mega. 5:42PM Cologne team news #effzeh will begin the match against @Arsenal with three strikers. Bench: Kessler, Olkowski, Risa, Lehmann, Rausch, Nartey, Bisseck #KOEAFC#ReturnoftheGOATpic.twitter.com/xKuEkY3xYD— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) November 23, 2017 5:40PM Europa League Thursdays Coming off the back of a brilliant but no doubt exhausting victory in the North London derby last weekend, Arsenal have a very 'Europa League' flavour to their line-up tonight. Arsene Wenger has named an entirely different team for the trip to Cologne, with notable inclusions for Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere in attack. An unfamiliar back three of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding should be interesting, with the defence now featuring that perfect blend of age, youth and extreme ponderousness. Calum Chambers at right wing-back should be similarly dubious in terms of pace – presuming Arsenal's pre-match graphic is accurate – though whether or not the Cologne attack will be able to take advantage is another question. Cologne are currently bottom of the Bundesliga with two points from 12 games, while they also sit bottom of Europa League Group H. They have scored four goals in the league all season which, let's face it, isn't great. Despite giving Arsenal a momentary scare with an early goal at the Emirates back in September, it would be a considerable upset if Cologne got anything from tonight's fixture. Wenger might have named a squad with one eye firmly on Arsenal's next game against Burnley, but the North Londoners should still come away with all three points at the RheinEnergieStadion – Calum Chambers at right wing-back or not. Arsene Wenger arrives at the RheinEnergieStadion Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 5:04PM Evening all Welcome to coverage of Arsenal's Europa League tie against Cologne, a match which sees the return of Danny Welbeck to first team action. Jack Wilshere also gets a chance to work his way back into Arsenal's Premier League plans with another strong performance in midfield. Here's the full Arsenal line-up: �� How we line up for tonight’s clash with @fckoeln... #COLvAFCpic.twitter.com/pz95afRnB5— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 23, 2017  

FC Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger's dreadful run in Germany continues with unexpected loss

After the champagne sparkle of that stirring victory over Tottenham Hotspur, this was the annoying hangover. Arsenal will go through as winners of Group H, in their first foray into the rebranded Europa League, but this was an unexpected, uninspiring performance which maintains Cologne’s hopes of joining them in the knock-out stage. Sehrou Guirassy’s second-half penalty inflicted a first defeat on Arsenal in Europe this season to ensure another miserable experience for Arsene Wenger on German soil. Wenger has now gone four games without a win in this country. BATE Borisov’s stalemate with Red Star Belgrade rendered this result largely irrelevant, but this was a world away from the thrilling win over Mauricio Pochettino last Saturday. Danny Welbeck played 45 minutes in his first appearance since the 2-1 defeat at Watford in October and looked sharp, while there was another encouraging performance from young winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles. But that was as good as it got, with the scenes of wild celebration at the end belonging to Cologne’s supporters, as they savoured a memorable night and only a second win at the RheinEnergieStadion this season. Danny Welbeck returned for Arsenal Credit: Reuters Wenger said: “You feel like you have done the job if you finish top of the group. I will tell you what it means after the draw, but finishing top is what we wanted. “We have lost a game here with their only shot on goal so that is disappointing. It is not a penalty at all and we missed a little bit in the final third. “We had plenty of dangerous situations but we always missed a little something to finish our chances. The pitch was a little handicap but I cannot fault the preparation or the concentration of the players.” There was a timely return for Welbeck, a striker anxious to make up for lost time, as Wenger made 11 changes to the starting XI that humbled Spurs. Welbeck’s hopes of being included in England’s squad for the World Cup next year are very much under threat after playing only one game in the last two months. Jack Wilshere makes a point to the ref Credit: Getty Images Gareth Southgate has a determination to utilise emerging talent while he also warned that players who do not play consistently for their club sides are in danger of missing out. Welbeck was clearly on a mission to make an impression before he was taken off at half-time as a precaution, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley. “He was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off but he’s in good shape,” said Wenger. “It was planned before the game because we have three games coming up and medically it would have been a risk to play him for longer. He has no problem but he's been out for a while." Arsenal had secured qualification before this trip to western Germany but this was a typically mundane experience in the competition viewed as European football’s wooden spoon. In a lifeless first-half Arsenal came closest to taking the lead from the most unlikely of sources. Francis Coquelin is still waiting patiently for his first goal, nine years after making his debut, and nearly produced a Eureka moment on the half hour when unmarked in the box - but he struck the post from six yards. Sehrou Guirassy scores from the spot Credit: Reuters Cologne are currently the Bundesliga’s bottom club and their game plan was to use pace against an Arsenal back three not renowned for mobility but counter-attacks frequently collapsed, much to the frustration of a boisterous home support. Yet the crucial moment came just after the hour, when Mathieu Debuchy clumsily fouled Guirassy in the area. Guirassy, who had proved a sporadic menace, dispatched the penalty with ease and the noise was deafening, the two towers either side of the stand flashing red and white. Arsenal did respond, with Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere both forcing dramatic saves from Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn. Reiss Nelson, an Arsenal substitute, also tested Horn as time ticked away before Wilshere was denied, again spectacularly, in added time. Yet Cologne secured the victory which sets up an intriguing final game against Red Star next month. 7:55PM Full time, Cologne nab the win Arsenal were the better side on the whole but Cologne did well to nick all three points. For the home side, it's a famous European win against one of the biggest clubs in England. For Arsenal, it's a mildly embarrassing result against the side rock bottom of the Bundesliga, though the North Londoners still top the group after Red Star Belgrade could only muster a draw with BATE Borisov. 7:52PM 90+2 mins Wilshere hits an absolute belter from 20 yards, but Timo Horn makes yet another good save. 7:50PM 89 mins Two great chances for Arsenal! First Reiss Nelson winds his way into the box and sees a close-range rocket saved by Timo Horn. Next, Wilshere crosses for Eddie Nketiah to poke home, but several desperate Cologne defenders throw themselves in the way. 7:48PM 88 mins Sehrou Guirassy gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Per Mertesacker. 7:46PM 84 mins Wilshere makes a jinking run forward and chips a pass towards Olivier Giroud, but it's just slightly overhit and the Frenchman can't get a header on goal. 7:43PM 83 mins Arsenal bring on League Cup hero Eddie Nketiah for Mathieu Debuchy. 7:42PM 82 mins Arsenal are sleepwalking to a loss to the bottom side in the Bundesliga, as things stand. It's a much-changed team but, still, a win for Cologne would be a blow to the pride of the players involved. 7:36PM 75 mins Great chance for Olivier Giroud, who makes a rare off-the-shoulder run and gets in one-on-one. Defender Jannes Horn and goalkeeper Timo Horn combine to keep him out. The former is down and in a bit of pain, having made an excellent last-ditch tackle and been caught on the shin by Giroud. Jannes and Timo Horn combine to stop Olivier Giroud Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:33PM 72 mins Cologne use their final substitution to bring off Yuya Osako for midfielder Matthias Lehmann. 7:28PM 67 mins Arsenal make another substitution, with Calum Chambers off for Reiss Nelson. 7:26PM 65 mins Another save for Timo Horn to make, this time a long-range fizzer from the boot of Jack Wilshere. Arsenal are ramping up the pressure but aren't making too many cutting-edge chances right now. 7:24PM 63 mins Chance for Mertesacker! The big German gets a header on target from a corner, but it's pushed out by Timo Horn. Olivier Giroud is inches away from converting on the rebound. Per Mertesacker gets his head to the ball Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:23PM GOAL! Cologne 1-0 Arsenal Cologne are ahead against the general run of play. That penalty decision will be a post-match talking point, with the challenge by Debuchy seeming fairly innocuous. 7:22PM 61 mins Penalty Cologne! Mathieu Debuchy tangles with Guirassy and the referee gives it, though it looks like a questionable decision. 7:20PM 59 mins Chance for Cologne, but Sehrou Guirassy doesn't make the most of it. A long ball falls kindly for the French forward, but he only half connects with the shot and David Ospina scoops it up gratefully. 7:17PM 56 mins It's a second substitution for Cologne, who bring off Jhon Cordoba for Pawel Olkowski. Can Cologne keep Arsenal from scoring this evening? Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 7:16PM 55 mins Iwobi combines with Wilshere and powers to the edge of the Cologne box, but his shot is blocked. 7:12PM 50 mins Maitland-Niles picks up where he left off, winning Arsenal a corner on the left. Elneny's delivery doesn't get past the first man. Not ideal. 7:09PM 48 mins The first yellow card of the match goes to Mathieu Debuchy after a needless foul on Sehrou Guirassy. 7:08PM Substitution for Arsenal Alex Iwobi is on for Danny Welbeck, who Arsene Wenger no doubt wants to protect from a recurrence of his most recent injury. 7:04PM Teams are back out ... for more Europa League football! Hooray! 6:53PM Half time Arsenal started to dominate as the half went on, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles their standout player and Francis Coquelin denied by the post. Cologne have shown very little threat going forwards, with toothlessness up front their main shortcoming as a side. Their defence has been passable, but can they hang on for another 45? Arsenal look to be well on top in Germany Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images 6:47PM 44 mins Elneny takes a long-distance shot which sails harmlessly into the stands. Let's have half time now, please. 6:45PM 42 mins Jack Wilshere wins a free kick in a promising position 30 yards out. Mohamed Elneny's airy delivery is punched away by Timo Horn. 6:44PM 41 mins Welbeck sets up the excellent Maitland-Niles but the youngster's shot rebounds off a wall of bodies. 6:41PM 37 mins Cologne are forced into a substitution after Olivier Giroud and Dominic Maroh come together in the box, with the latter seeming to pull his hamstring in the process. Maroh limps off and Konstantin Rausch comes on in his place. 6:36PM 31 mins Danny Welbeck is the latest Arsenal player to go close, curling a shot just past the far post from the left side of the area. The home side are walking on thin ice here. 6:33PM 29 mins Arsenal hit the post! Olivier Giroud chips a pass through to the onrushing Francis Coquelin, who blasts a shot off the upright and out for a goal kick. No goal, but it's been an enterprising performance from the defensive midfielder so far. Olivier Giroud is slowly playing his way into the game Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 6:32PM 28 mins Ainsley Maitland-Niles again makes massive inroads on the left, lofting a cross straight to the boot of a teammate in front of goal. Sadly, that teammate is Calum Chambers. Timo Horn collects easily. 6:30PM 27 mins Japanese forward Yuya Osako takes a pot shot at David Ospina from long range, but slips over and sees his effort corkscrew horribly wide. That sums up the last ten minutes or so, really. Osako takes on Francis Coquelin Credit: Marius Becker/DPA 6:24PM 19 mins Arsenal have a shot on target and it's off the head of Jack Wilshere, believe it or not. It's straight at Timo Horn, unfortunately. 6:23PM 18 mins Maitland-Niles threads through Olivier Giroud to the left of the area, but the Frenchman gets his feet tangled and fails to make anything of the pass. Could it be one of those nights for Arsenal's No.12? 6:18PM 13 mins Close from Coquelin! Having failed to clear their lines after some messy passing in and around the box, Cologne gift Coquelin an opportunity to shoot from 25 yards. He goes surprisingly close, but his effort slams against the advertising boards. It would have been a turn up for the books had the Frenchman scored. Francis Coquelin in action Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters 6:15PM 11 mins Some lovely skill from Maitland-Niles almost sees him play a dangerous pass across the box, but he is muscled off the ball at the final second. 6:13PM 10 mins Things have quietened down a bit after a lively start to the game. Arsenal are seeing more of the ball, but only just. 6:09PM 5 mins First chance for the home side! Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba roars up the pitch and blasts at goal from a tight angle, forcing David Ospina into a full-stretch save. 6:04PM 2 mins Good early chance for Arsenal, with Welbeck and Wilshere combining well to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles away into the box. His angled shot is saved by Timo Horn, who confidently comes to collect the resulting corner. 6:01PM Minute's applause for Hans Schafer Schafer was Cologne's all-time top goalscorer and made 39 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1954 World Cup. He died earlier this month at 90 years of age. 5:59PM Teams are out ... and Cologne flags are fluttering in the stands. There's plenty of noise coming from the away fans, too, though the Arsenal contingent have a lot to live up to. Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 5:53PM Big night for the home fans Having suffered through a miserable start to the season, Cologne fans will no doubt want to enjoy another big European night against Premier League opposition. Will things be as wild as they were in London a couple of months ago? Maybe not, but the atmosphere is still bound to be mega. 5:42PM Cologne team news #effzeh will begin the match against @Arsenal with three strikers. Bench: Kessler, Olkowski, Risa, Lehmann, Rausch, Nartey, Bisseck #KOEAFC#ReturnoftheGOATpic.twitter.com/xKuEkY3xYD— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) November 23, 2017 5:40PM Europa League Thursdays Coming off the back of a brilliant but no doubt exhausting victory in the North London derby last weekend, Arsenal have a very 'Europa League' flavour to their line-up tonight. Arsene Wenger has named an entirely different team for the trip to Cologne, with notable inclusions for Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere in attack. An unfamiliar back three of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding should be interesting, with the defence now featuring that perfect blend of age, youth and extreme ponderousness. Calum Chambers at right wing-back should be similarly dubious in terms of pace – presuming Arsenal's pre-match graphic is accurate – though whether or not the Cologne attack will be able to take advantage is another question. Cologne are currently bottom of the Bundesliga with two points from 12 games, while they also sit bottom of Europa League Group H. They have scored four goals in the league all season which, let's face it, isn't great. Despite giving Arsenal a momentary scare with an early goal at the Emirates back in September, it would be a considerable upset if Cologne got anything from tonight's fixture. Wenger might have named a squad with one eye firmly on Arsenal's next game against Burnley, but the North Londoners should still come away with all three points at the RheinEnergieStadion – Calum Chambers at right wing-back or not. Arsene Wenger arrives at the RheinEnergieStadion Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 5:04PM Evening all Welcome to coverage of Arsenal's Europa League tie against Cologne, a match which sees the return of Danny Welbeck to first team action. Jack Wilshere also gets a chance to work his way back into Arsenal's Premier League plans with another strong performance in midfield. Here's the full Arsenal line-up: �� How we line up for tonight’s clash with @fckoeln... #COLvAFCpic.twitter.com/pz95afRnB5— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 23, 2017  

FC Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger's dreadful run in Germany continues with unexpected loss

After the champagne sparkle of that stirring victory over Tottenham Hotspur, this was the annoying hangover. Arsenal will go through as winners of Group H, in their first foray into the rebranded Europa League, but this was an unexpected, uninspiring performance which maintains Cologne’s hopes of joining them in the knock-out stage. Sehrou Guirassy’s second-half penalty inflicted a first defeat on Arsenal in Europe this season to ensure another miserable experience for Arsene Wenger on German soil. Wenger has now gone four games without a win in this country. BATE Borisov’s stalemate with Red Star Belgrade rendered this result largely irrelevant, but this was a world away from the thrilling win over Mauricio Pochettino last Saturday. Danny Welbeck played 45 minutes in his first appearance since the 2-1 defeat at Watford in October and looked sharp, while there was another encouraging performance from young winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles. But that was as good as it got, with the scenes of wild celebration at the end belonging to Cologne’s supporters, as they savoured a memorable night and only a second win at the RheinEnergieStadion this season. Danny Welbeck returned for Arsenal Credit: Reuters Wenger said: “You feel like you have done the job if you finish top of the group. I will tell you what it means after the draw, but finishing top is what we wanted. “We have lost a game here with their only shot on goal so that is disappointing. It is not a penalty at all and we missed a little bit in the final third. “We had plenty of dangerous situations but we always missed a little something to finish our chances. The pitch was a little handicap but I cannot fault the preparation or the concentration of the players.” There was a timely return for Welbeck, a striker anxious to make up for lost time, as Wenger made 11 changes to the starting XI that humbled Spurs. Welbeck’s hopes of being included in England’s squad for the World Cup next year are very much under threat after playing only one game in the last two months. Jack Wilshere makes a point to the ref Credit: Getty Images Gareth Southgate has a determination to utilise emerging talent while he also warned that players who do not play consistently for their club sides are in danger of missing out. Welbeck was clearly on a mission to make an impression before he was taken off at half-time as a precaution, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley. “He was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off but he’s in good shape,” said Wenger. “It was planned before the game because we have three games coming up and medically it would have been a risk to play him for longer. He has no problem but he's been out for a while." Arsenal had secured qualification before this trip to western Germany but this was a typically mundane experience in the competition viewed as European football’s wooden spoon. In a lifeless first-half Arsenal came closest to taking the lead from the most unlikely of sources. Francis Coquelin is still waiting patiently for his first goal, nine years after making his debut, and nearly produced a Eureka moment on the half hour when unmarked in the box - but he struck the post from six yards. Sehrou Guirassy scores from the spot Credit: Reuters Cologne are currently the Bundesliga’s bottom club and their game plan was to use pace against an Arsenal back three not renowned for mobility but counter-attacks frequently collapsed, much to the frustration of a boisterous home support. Yet the crucial moment came just after the hour, when Mathieu Debuchy clumsily fouled Guirassy in the area. Guirassy, who had proved a sporadic menace, dispatched the penalty with ease and the noise was deafening, the two towers either side of the stand flashing red and white. Arsenal did respond, with Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere both forcing dramatic saves from Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn. Reiss Nelson, an Arsenal substitute, also tested Horn as time ticked away before Wilshere was denied, again spectacularly, in added time. Yet Cologne secured the victory which sets up an intriguing final game against Red Star next month. 7:55PM Full time, Cologne nab the win Arsenal were the better side on the whole but Cologne did well to nick all three points. For the home side, it's a famous European win against one of the biggest clubs in England. For Arsenal, it's a mildly embarrassing result against the side rock bottom of the Bundesliga, though the North Londoners still top the group after Red Star Belgrade could only muster a draw with BATE Borisov. 7:52PM 90+2 mins Wilshere hits an absolute belter from 20 yards, but Timo Horn makes yet another good save. 7:50PM 89 mins Two great chances for Arsenal! First Reiss Nelson winds his way into the box and sees a close-range rocket saved by Timo Horn. Next, Wilshere crosses for Eddie Nketiah to poke home, but several desperate Cologne defenders throw themselves in the way. 7:48PM 88 mins Sehrou Guirassy gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Per Mertesacker. 7:46PM 84 mins Wilshere makes a jinking run forward and chips a pass towards Olivier Giroud, but it's just slightly overhit and the Frenchman can't get a header on goal. 7:43PM 83 mins Arsenal bring on League Cup hero Eddie Nketiah for Mathieu Debuchy. 7:42PM 82 mins Arsenal are sleepwalking to a loss to the bottom side in the Bundesliga, as things stand. It's a much-changed team but, still, a win for Cologne would be a blow to the pride of the players involved. 7:36PM 75 mins Great chance for Olivier Giroud, who makes a rare off-the-shoulder run and gets in one-on-one. Defender Jannes Horn and goalkeeper Timo Horn combine to keep him out. The former is down and in a bit of pain, having made an excellent last-ditch tackle and been caught on the shin by Giroud. Jannes and Timo Horn combine to stop Olivier Giroud Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:33PM 72 mins Cologne use their final substitution to bring off Yuya Osako for midfielder Matthias Lehmann. 7:28PM 67 mins Arsenal make another substitution, with Calum Chambers off for Reiss Nelson. 7:26PM 65 mins Another save for Timo Horn to make, this time a long-range fizzer from the boot of Jack Wilshere. Arsenal are ramping up the pressure but aren't making too many cutting-edge chances right now. 7:24PM 63 mins Chance for Mertesacker! The big German gets a header on target from a corner, but it's pushed out by Timo Horn. Olivier Giroud is inches away from converting on the rebound. Per Mertesacker gets his head to the ball Credit: Martin Meissner/AP 7:23PM GOAL! Cologne 1-0 Arsenal Cologne are ahead against the general run of play. That penalty decision will be a post-match talking point, with the challenge by Debuchy seeming fairly innocuous. 7:22PM 61 mins Penalty Cologne! Mathieu Debuchy tangles with Guirassy and the referee gives it, though it looks like a questionable decision. 7:20PM 59 mins Chance for Cologne, but Sehrou Guirassy doesn't make the most of it. A long ball falls kindly for the French forward, but he only half connects with the shot and David Ospina scoops it up gratefully. 7:17PM 56 mins It's a second substitution for Cologne, who bring off Jhon Cordoba for Pawel Olkowski. Can Cologne keep Arsenal from scoring this evening? Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 7:16PM 55 mins Iwobi combines with Wilshere and powers to the edge of the Cologne box, but his shot is blocked. 7:12PM 50 mins Maitland-Niles picks up where he left off, winning Arsenal a corner on the left. Elneny's delivery doesn't get past the first man. Not ideal. 7:09PM 48 mins The first yellow card of the match goes to Mathieu Debuchy after a needless foul on Sehrou Guirassy. 7:08PM Substitution for Arsenal Alex Iwobi is on for Danny Welbeck, who Arsene Wenger no doubt wants to protect from a recurrence of his most recent injury. 7:04PM Teams are back out ... for more Europa League football! Hooray! 6:53PM Half time Arsenal started to dominate as the half went on, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles their standout player and Francis Coquelin denied by the post. Cologne have shown very little threat going forwards, with toothlessness up front their main shortcoming as a side. Their defence has been passable, but can they hang on for another 45? Arsenal look to be well on top in Germany Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images 6:47PM 44 mins Elneny takes a long-distance shot which sails harmlessly into the stands. Let's have half time now, please. 6:45PM 42 mins Jack Wilshere wins a free kick in a promising position 30 yards out. Mohamed Elneny's airy delivery is punched away by Timo Horn. 6:44PM 41 mins Welbeck sets up the excellent Maitland-Niles but the youngster's shot rebounds off a wall of bodies. 6:41PM 37 mins Cologne are forced into a substitution after Olivier Giroud and Dominic Maroh come together in the box, with the latter seeming to pull his hamstring in the process. Maroh limps off and Konstantin Rausch comes on in his place. 6:36PM 31 mins Danny Welbeck is the latest Arsenal player to go close, curling a shot just past the far post from the left side of the area. The home side are walking on thin ice here. 6:33PM 29 mins Arsenal hit the post! Olivier Giroud chips a pass through to the onrushing Francis Coquelin, who blasts a shot off the upright and out for a goal kick. No goal, but it's been an enterprising performance from the defensive midfielder so far. Olivier Giroud is slowly playing his way into the game Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 6:32PM 28 mins Ainsley Maitland-Niles again makes massive inroads on the left, lofting a cross straight to the boot of a teammate in front of goal. Sadly, that teammate is Calum Chambers. Timo Horn collects easily. 6:30PM 27 mins Japanese forward Yuya Osako takes a pot shot at David Ospina from long range, but slips over and sees his effort corkscrew horribly wide. That sums up the last ten minutes or so, really. Osako takes on Francis Coquelin Credit: Marius Becker/DPA 6:24PM 19 mins Arsenal have a shot on target and it's off the head of Jack Wilshere, believe it or not. It's straight at Timo Horn, unfortunately. 6:23PM 18 mins Maitland-Niles threads through Olivier Giroud to the left of the area, but the Frenchman gets his feet tangled and fails to make anything of the pass. Could it be one of those nights for Arsenal's No.12? 6:18PM 13 mins Close from Coquelin! Having failed to clear their lines after some messy passing in and around the box, Cologne gift Coquelin an opportunity to shoot from 25 yards. He goes surprisingly close, but his effort slams against the advertising boards. It would have been a turn up for the books had the Frenchman scored. Francis Coquelin in action Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters 6:15PM 11 mins Some lovely skill from Maitland-Niles almost sees him play a dangerous pass across the box, but he is muscled off the ball at the final second. 6:13PM 10 mins Things have quietened down a bit after a lively start to the game. Arsenal are seeing more of the ball, but only just. 6:09PM 5 mins First chance for the home side! Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba roars up the pitch and blasts at goal from a tight angle, forcing David Ospina into a full-stretch save. 6:04PM 2 mins Good early chance for Arsenal, with Welbeck and Wilshere combining well to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles away into the box. His angled shot is saved by Timo Horn, who confidently comes to collect the resulting corner. 6:01PM Minute's applause for Hans Schafer Schafer was Cologne's all-time top goalscorer and made 39 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1954 World Cup. He died earlier this month at 90 years of age. 5:59PM Teams are out ... and Cologne flags are fluttering in the stands. There's plenty of noise coming from the away fans, too, though the Arsenal contingent have a lot to live up to. Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images 5:53PM Big night for the home fans Having suffered through a miserable start to the season, Cologne fans will no doubt want to enjoy another big European night against Premier League opposition. Will things be as wild as they were in London a couple of months ago? Maybe not, but the atmosphere is still bound to be mega. 5:42PM Cologne team news #effzeh will begin the match against @Arsenal with three strikers. Bench: Kessler, Olkowski, Risa, Lehmann, Rausch, Nartey, Bisseck #KOEAFC#ReturnoftheGOATpic.twitter.com/xKuEkY3xYD— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) November 23, 2017 5:40PM Europa League Thursdays Coming off the back of a brilliant but no doubt exhausting victory in the North London derby last weekend, Arsenal have a very 'Europa League' flavour to their line-up tonight. Arsene Wenger has named an entirely different team for the trip to Cologne, with notable inclusions for Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere in attack. An unfamiliar back three of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding should be interesting, with the defence now featuring that perfect blend of age, youth and extreme ponderousness. Calum Chambers at right wing-back should be similarly dubious in terms of pace – presuming Arsenal's pre-match graphic is accurate – though whether or not the Cologne attack will be able to take advantage is another question. Cologne are currently bottom of the Bundesliga with two points from 12 games, while they also sit bottom of Europa League Group H. They have scored four goals in the league all season which, let's face it, isn't great. Despite giving Arsenal a momentary scare with an early goal at the Emirates back in September, it would be a considerable upset if Cologne got anything from tonight's fixture. Wenger might have named a squad with one eye firmly on Arsenal's next game against Burnley, but the North Londoners should still come away with all three points at the RheinEnergieStadion – Calum Chambers at right wing-back or not. Arsene Wenger arrives at the RheinEnergieStadion Credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images 5:04PM Evening all Welcome to coverage of Arsenal's Europa League tie against Cologne, a match which sees the return of Danny Welbeck to first team action. Jack Wilshere also gets a chance to work his way back into Arsenal's Premier League plans with another strong performance in midfield. Here's the full Arsenal line-up: �� How we line up for tonight’s clash with @fckoeln... #COLvAFCpic.twitter.com/pz95afRnB5— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 23, 2017  

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