Arsenal enter uncharted territory with this first match of their Europa League campaign.

Not only is it this match vs FC Koln the Gunners first ever Europa League entry, it is also the first time the whole squad must deal with the demands of playing on Thursdays, which will be followed in quick succession with another demanding fixture in the Premier League in the weekend.

It is going to be tough, and the failed efforts of tottenham in the past have shown everyone it isn’t easy to juggle a hectic Premiership schedule with a tilt at Europe, so it is a good thing that Arsene Wenger has a rather ample squad to choose from.

Our fanbase isn’t exactly enamoured with the idea of playing in this competition, but we are in it for better or worse, so we may as well give it a go. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to see the mixture of youth and fringe members of the team.

There are certain glowing talents that rise to the fore when thinking of who could make the leap from the Reserves to the first team, and chief among them would be Reiss Nelson.

Fresh from turning everyone’s heads in our summer friendly fixtures, Nelson then proceeded to set the Under-23 League alight with his dazzling array of skills and ball control. He certainly looks the real deal, but only minutes for the first team can judge whether Nelson has the minerals.

There are other youngsters who may get the nod. Jo Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Ainslie Maitland-Niles are at the front of the queue if Wenger is dishing out chances, but there may be more or less kids in the team.

Another name we are all crying out for is Jack Wilshere. The perma-crocked midfielder has been in a limbo of sorts since his return from Bournemouth - injured of course. He is now on the road to match fitness, and he needs games to test whether this is another false dawn or if we might just be able to call upon his services this season.

Wenger has many choices to consider for this game against the Bundesliga side. Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom have all been scrabbling for gametime, so a combination of these whilst they babysit some sparkling kids is definitely on the cards.

Alexis Sanchez may be the wildcard though. The Chilean is still on the path to recovery after his recent abdomen injury, and for Alexis, the more games the better. Once he attains true match sharpness, we can enjoy the fruits of his labours, so sixty or so minutes in this game could actually be the best solution to a fit and firing Sanchez.

Our opponents are struggling this season after punching above their weight last season. After three games so far, they currently sit bottom of the Bundesliga, pointless and with just one goal to their name.

They do have players to hurt us though. Jonas Hector is a regular in Joachim Low’s squads, goalkeeper Timo Horn is a tough nut to crack and midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt is a name on the rise. They are usually a well-organised outfit and any Bundesliga team will be a challenge if our team is not at the races.

Wholesale changes can often be the enemy of fluid attack and a mean defence, but with Chelsea lying in wait on Sunday - just three days after this fixture - Wenger will more than likely be resting key personnel for this game.

We have more than enough in our locker to name a strong side and grab the win whilst simultaneously resting our big guns for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Former Gunner Lukas Podolski is the darling of Cologne and has the German side's club crest tattooed on his person. The man with a hammer for a shot is the link between the two teams, and the result will cause a few arguments in the Podolski household regardless of nature.