Arsenal enter relatively unfamiliar terrain on Thursday when they get their Europa League campaign under way against Koln.
The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League last season, meaning they missed out on a Champions League place and, as a consequence, they have dropped to the second tier of Europe's elite.
Bundesliga outfit Koln also finished fifth last term and they represent one of Arsenal's tougher opponents in Group H, with games against BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade to come.
|Game||Arsenal vs Koln|
|Date||Thursday, September 14|
|Time||20:05 BST / 15:05 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2 as well as being available to stream online via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport app|
In the US, the game will be broadcast live on television on FS1 and will be available to stream online using Fox Sports GO, the Fox Soccer Match Pass and WatchESPN.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS1||Fox Sports GO / Match Pass / WatchESPN|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Ospina, Iliev, Huddart, Keto, Macey|
|Defenders||Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac|
|Midfielders||Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Elneny, Bielik, Gilmour, McGuane, Nelson, Sheaf|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lacazette, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Akpom, Willock, Da Silva, Eyoma, Nketiah|
Arsenal will be without Francis Coquelin, who is carrying a hamstring injury, while Santi Cazorla has not been included in the Europa League squad and is months away from a return to match action anyway.
Arsene Wenger has included a number of youth-team players in his squad and may opt to rotate first-team players with a crunch Premier League clash against rivals Chelsea three days later.
Potential starting XI: Ospina; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Kolasinac, Elneny, Wilshere; Nelson, Giroud, Sanchez.
|Goalkeepers||T. Horn, Kessler, Muller, Scott|
|Defenders||Heintz, Sorensen, Maraoh, Hector, Olkowski, Mere, J. Horn, Klunter, Queiros, Rausch|
|Midfielders||Hoger, Risse, Jojic, Clemens, Ozcan, Bittencourt, Lehmann, Nartey|
|Forwards||Rudnevs, Zoller, Osako, Cordoba, Guirassy|
Koln head coach Peter Stoger confirmed that striker Artjoms Rudnevs would not be available for the game against Arsenal, but other than that they have a clean bill of health.
Marcel Risse and Milos Jojic have returned to training so will come into consideration for the trip to north London.
Potential starting XI: T. Horn; Hector, Heintz, Mere, Klunter; Jojic, Risse, Lehmann, Bittencourt; Cordoba, Osako.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Arsenal are favourites according to dabblebet, with odds of 3/10 for the Gunners to win. Koln are priced at 8/1 to win, while a draw is available at 17/4.
While Arsenal will be forced to endure jibes as part of their participation in the Europa League, the reality is that the tournament represents an excellent opportunity for the club to book their place in next season's Champions League.
With the Premier League becoming increasingly competitive, top clubs are finding it difficult to qualify for Europe's leading club competition, but the second-tier Europa League has become a realistic alternative route, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United benefitting after winning the tournament in recent years.
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Wenger's side have experienced some early wobbles in the 2017-18 league season, with the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil also shrouded in uncertainty, but they can set the tone for the rest of the year with a convincing display in Europe.
Indeed, with a crucial derby clash against Antonio Conte's Chelsea coming in the league three days later, an emphatic victory at home to one of Germany's better teams will not only set them up nicely in Group H, but it will also give them plenty of momentum as they look to climb up the league table.