Arsenal team news: Alexis starts, Wilshere on bench for Europa League opener

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The Chilean will be in the lineup for the Gunners as they host Koln at the Emirates Stadium, but kick-off has been delayed by an hour

Alexis Sanchez will start for Arsenal and Jack Wilshere is among the substitutes as they open their Europa League campaign against Koln.

The Gunners' official media channels have listed the lineup in a 3-4-3 formation, with Alex Iwobi featuring in central midfield and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at wing-back.

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It is possible, however, that Arsenal will revert to 4-2-3-1 with Hector Bellerin dropping into right-back and Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny screening the defence.

Either way, Alexis will play off Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott is also among Arsene Wenger's attacking weapons.

David Ospina gets the start in goal, with Petr Cech given the night off entirely. Matt Macey is on the bench in reserve.

Wilshere could make his long-awaited comeback to the first team as a substitute, while promising youngsters Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Reiss Nelson are also present.

Koln will deploy Germany left-back Jonas Hector in central midfield, with Colombian striker Jhon Cordoba leading the line.

The Billy Goats - who share a former player with Arsenal in Lukas Podolski - finished fifth in the Bundesliga last season to qualify for the Europa League.

The 12 wins they recorded to secure that spot was a total substantially lower, however, than the 23 the Gunners required to finish in the same position in England.

Koln have started the 2017-18 campaign with three straight losses in the league, scoring only one goal and conceding seven.

Arsenal: Ospina; Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Alexis.

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Subs: Macey, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Reine-Adelaide, Nelson, Wilshere, Akpom.

Koln: T. Horn; Klunter, Mere, Heintz, Rausch; Lehmann; Zoller, Hoger, Hector, Bittencourt; Cordoba.

Subs: Kessler, Sorensen, Risse, Jojic, Osako, Guirassy, J. Horn.

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