Arsenal fans may wish that this Qarabag game didn’t exist for a variety of reasons, but at least there’s a silver lining – and that is the return of Laurent Koscielny. The Arsenal captain hasn’t had the chance to soak in any of the success that the club have experienced since Unai Emery came into the fold, but now, he’ll have the opportunity to turn things around in a big way.
Guess who’s back
The 33 year old is set to return to the starting XI for this one, marking his official comeback after rupturing his achilles in the club’s Europa League semi final last season. While it may seem silly for him to be dubbed the captain even though he’s been unable to play, we believe that he has still earned the right to fight for that moniker as best he can.
The big test is going to be seeing whether or not he looks and moves in the same kind of way, and this is the right kind of game to re-introduce him into. While some may think it’s a decision that is being rushed in the wake of Arsenal sustaining some injuries, it feels perfect as a way to slowly embed him back into the system.
Emery is known for giving people a chance and Koscielny has certainly earned that right, with more than eight years in his current tenure at the Emirates. He’s been through the ups and the downs with the club and he’s scored some important goals along the way, as you’d expect from a defender who loves to get forward.
Koscielny could also get the nod to play at Southampton, which must mean that he’s fully healed – or, at least, that’s what we’re choosing to believe. We don’t think that they’d risk injuring him further, so perhaps we’re worrying for no reason whatsoever. Whatever the case may be this gives you one more reason to tune into the game tonight – as if you weren’t going to already.
How do you think Arsenal will fare tonight, will Koscielny shine, and how important do you think maintaining the unbeaten run is?