'Never forget the Europa League is a wonderful competition' - Cologne in playful mood ahead of Arsenal clash

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The German outfit are preparing to play host to the Gunners and have attempted to get their supporters in the mood with a list of light-hearted rules

Cologne have attempted to get their supporters in the mood for a Europa League clash with Arsenal by laying out a set of playful ‘ground rules’.

Arsenal 13/10 to beat Cologne

The Gunners head into Thursday’s clash already guaranteed of a place in the last-32 of the competition.

The hosts, meanwhile, still have work to do if their involvement in continental competition is to stretch into 2018.

A positive result against Arsene Wenger’s side will carry them a long way towards hitting that target, and Cologne have endeavoured to ramp up the interest in the tie by reminding some sceptical supporters that the Europa League is “a wonderful and prestigious competition”.

The Europa League is not always viewed in the greatest of lights by fans, or some of the clubs taking part.

As it operates in the shadow of the much grander Champions League, Thursday night football can often be viewed as more of a hindrance.

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Cologne, though, should be eager to ensure that they do not tumble at the first hurdle and crash out at the group stage.

Their supporters certainly appear to have embraced the competition, with several thousand travelling fans causing chaos during their clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in September.

That game ended 3-1 to the Gunners, so the Billy Goats should also have revenge in mind when the Premier League outfit take to the field at the RheinEnergieStadion in midweek.

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