Mathieu Debuchy is set to be handed a rare start by Arsene Wenger when Arsenal take on Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Arsenal will aim to continue their perfect start to their Europa League campaign and get a step closer to clinching qualification to the Round of 32, when they visit the Rajko Mitic Stadium to take on Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.
Arsene Wenger has been greeted with some positive news ahead of the trip to Belgrade, with Mathieu Debuchy set to return to action. The Frenchman has been out of action for a number of months due to a spate of injuries, but is now fit and available once again.
The Arsenal boss was excited at the prospect of his compatriot overcoming his fitness battles, and he confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the defender is set to feature on Thursday.
The boss has been asked about @MatDebuchy….
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 18, 2017
“It’s a possibility that he starts tomorrow. He has not played for a long time because every time he is close to coming back he gets injured again.”
Wenger did not comment on the injuries of Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), both of whom hobbled off the pitch against Watford over the weekend, and have not travelled with the squad.
Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey have regained fitness, having taken part in training this week after missing the Watford game due to fatigue. But, the duo, as well as some of the other first-team players are not a part of the traveling squad, with Wenger set to revert back to a second-string side on Thursday.
Therefore, the likes of David Ospina, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are expected to start another Europa League game, with the Arsenal boss resting the regulars with one eye on the crucial away game against Everton on the weekend.
Meanwhile, Red Star Belgrade boss Vladan Milojevic is without three first-team players ahead of the Gunners’ visit, with Ghanaian defender Abraham Frimpong, Brazilian winger Ricardinho and Serbian forward Nemanja Milic out of his matchday squad, while Gabon international Guelor Kanga is a doubt.