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Arsenal could have Koscielny fit for Champions League

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By Andrew Tuft

Monday 18 August 2014

Laurent Koscielny is in contention for a place in the Arsenal side to play Besiktas in the Champions League play-off after he was fit to train despite suffering an injury in the Gunners’ Premier League opener, Sky Sports has reported.

Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny appeared to injure his Achilles during the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace but the 2-1 victory, claimed despite falling behind to the managerless Eagles. Brede Hangeland opened the scoring for Palace before Koscielny levelled moments before half-time and Aaron Ramsey claimed a late winner.

It’s expected that Callum Chambers, signed over the summer from Southampton, will partner Koscielny, as he did against Palace, with Per Mertesacker yet to return to action following his exertions with Germany in the World Cup. Mertesacker and his fellow World Cup winners Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski were given extra time off by manager Arsene Wenger but if Koscielny hadn’t recovered, Mertesacker could have been called into the side.

Kieran Gibbs, who had to be replaced before the hour mark against Palace, didn’t train on Monday and isn’t expected to be fit for the game in Turkey. Nacho Monreal replaced the left-back against Palace.

Arsenal meet Besiktas in the first leg on Tuesday and face the Istanbul club in the second leg a week later at the Emirates Stadium.

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