sport news Arsenal are favourites for their Europa League opener

Cologne captain Matthias Lehmann believes the Bundesliga side remain the underdogs in their Europa League clash with Arsenal even though the Gunners will make sweeping changes.

Arsene Wenger revealed on Wednesday that several of his first-choice players will be rested for their Group H opener at the Emirates Stadium.

The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Petr Cech did not train ahead of the game as Wenger looks to rotate ahead of a crunch Premier League derby at Chelsea on Sunday.

Cologne captain Matthias Lehmann insists Arsenal are favourites for their Europa League clash

Cologne captain Matthias Lehmann insists Arsenal are favourites for their Europa League clash

Cologne head into the contest bottom of the Bundesliga and without a point having lost all of their opening three league outings.

While Lehmann insists the game can be separated from their poor league form, the 34-year-old admits Arsenal will still be strong despite the expected alterations to their starting line-up.

'We really look forward to the challenge, it is independent to the Bundesliga. We want to enjoy the game and show passion in the game,' he said.

'We are definitely not the favourite, they have a big squad and top players and there will be other top players who start.

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