Search

Liverpool v Arsenal: Koscielny back from cup final heartbreak

PUBLISHED: 17:01 26 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 26 August 2017

Laurent Koscielny is available once again for Arsenal after suspension (pic John Walton/PA)

Laurent Koscielny is available once again for Arsenal after suspension (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Laurent Koscielny will start the long journey of putting his FA Cup final heartbreak behind him when he returns from suspension for Arsenal on Sunday.

The France international defender has missed the opening two Premier League games of the campaign after being sent off in the final league fixture of last season against Everton.

His dismissal against the Toffees also saw him ruled out of the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea – as Arsene Wenger’s side lifted the trophy for a record 13th time despite being depleted in defence.

Koscielny has been overlooked throughout pre-season as Wenger needed to give game-time to those who were available for the games against Leicester and Stoke.

But, after losing 1-0 against the latter last weekend, the Arsenal boss is keen to reintroduce his compatriot for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.

“We lost the game on Saturday because defensively we gave a cheap goal away, and it’s good to have him back,” he said.

“It’s been very hard, because I didn’t even consider him for friendly games, you know, because I had to play some defenders.

“I think what hurt him a lot was to miss the cup final. He had a reaction in the final game of the season against Everton that was unlucky.

“He’s a very quiet guy and sometimes he can get rushed because he realises, he thinks always he has the speed and the pace to win the tackle; in this case he didn’t.”

Koscielny’s timely return to a defence which has shipped four goals in two Premier League games will be overshadowed if Alexis Sanchez is also reintroduced into the Arsenal side at Anfield.

The Chile forward has not featured this season due to a combination of illness and an abdominal injury.

Reports continue to link Sanchez with a move away from the Emirates Stadium as he has less than a year to run on his contract and with Wenger admitting no progress has been made on the former Barcelona man signing a fresh deal.

But Wenger has no qualms playing Sanchez despite the uncertainty over his future and believes his return can boost his team-mates.

“We are disappointed by our result on Saturday but we are not down,” he said.

“It is the first game we lost since the beginning of April and we feel we should have largely won this game.

“Alexis, when he is in the squad, he can score a goal for you at that is always good for morale.

“He wants to play. Alexis works for hard and is focused to play. I think what is good is our mutual interest is that he does well for us.

“His interest is to do well, on top of that I deeply feel that he loves to be here and he loves the club and he arrives at a stage of 28, 29 and looks at the quality of his contract but I think he deeply loves to be here.

“In a professional job I always think that you have to make sure with your commitment that the guy who pays you gets what he is paying you for.

“Alexis is in that mode and I think he will be until the last day he is here, he will give his best.

“To play them or not, no, I don’t consider their contractual situation to decide who plays and who doesn’t play.”

Arsenal found out their Europa League opponents on Friday, with Red Star Belgrade of Serbia, Belarus outfit BATE Borisov and Cologne of Germany drawn alongside Wenger’s side in Group H.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed Harry Kane after the Spurs forward grabbed a late winner to send the impressive Three Lions through to the UEFA Nations League finals.

England hosted Croatia at Wembley in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report.

16:09

Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent FA WSL record with a 4-0 win over Everton in Southport.

England hosted Croatia at Wembley in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Hendon made their longest ever League trip, to Tiverton on Saturday, and returned to London with a point from a goalless stalemate.

Wingate & Finchley endured a frustrating afternoon at Nyewood Lane after slipping to defeat to Bognor Regis Town – despite twice taking the lead either side of the break.

10:31

Great Britain’s women were defeated 2-0 by Australia in their second match at the FIH Women’s Champions Trophy in China.

10:48

Arsenal want to be part of any discussions on a future European Super League, but deny they would break away from the Premier League it a new competition comes to fruition.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now