Group A favourites Arsenal and PSG go head to head on Tuesday night with the Paris outfit looking a bit depleted as compared to an Arsenal squad riding on the momentum of two back-to-back Premier League wins.

 

The good news for Arsenal is that Laurent Koscielny should be fit to face Paris Saint-Germain in Arsenal’s opening Champions League group game on Tuesday according to the Evening Standard. The defender, who suffered a facial injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Southampton, trained with the team on Monday.

New signing Shokdran Mustafi should partner Koscielny, with Arsenal already without their other centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Gabriel because of injury. Olivier Giroud has not started a game this season and will be looking for his first start in Paris. The France international, 29, has made just two substitute appearances for the Gunners so far this campaign.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who trained separately from the rest of the squad on Monday, will not travel to the French capital because of concerns over a hamstring problem.

Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez would be the attacking trio behind Giroud, while Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin would complete the back line alongside Koscielny and Mustafi. Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka are expected to operate from central midfield, giving the Arsenal team a formidable look.

Koscielny's return to fitness is a major boost for Arsenal. EPA/WILL OLIVER

Koscielny’s return to fitness is a major boost for Arsenal. (Photo credits: AFP/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain will have captain Thiago Silva available for their Champions League opener against Arsenal on Tuesday, but attacker Hatem Ben Arfa is not in the 18-man squad.

The official reason behind Ben Arfa’s absence is not known, but Le Parisien reported it was a tactical decision from manager Unai Emery after some below par performances from the summer signing recently.

Right-back Serge Aurier has shaken off a sprained ankle suffered in the 3-1 defeat away at Monaco, while playmaker Javier Pastore has overcome a calf problem which kept him out of the most recent international fixtures with Argentina.

Versatile attacker Jese Rodriguez and veteran left-back Maxwell are also both included, after the Spaniard was seen hobbling following last Friday’s 1-1 draw at home with St Etienne in Ligue 1, while the Brazilian missed the match with a slight knock. Maxwell is expected to replace Layvin Kurzawa on the left side of defence.

Leave A Comment...

*