Unai Emery aims to boost Gunners’ defence in transfer window

Koscielny set for first Arsenal start since May

Arsenal coach Unai Emery hailed 17-year-old Bukayo Saka for playing "with a very big personality" on his full debut for the Gunners in Thursday's 1-0 win over Qarabag in the Europa League.

Speaking after the match the former Sevilla boss said: "We give the chances [to young players] and they show us positive things".

Here is how we expect Arsenal to line up...

Emery, whose side have now gone 21 games unbeaten across all competitions, was also pleased to see his captain play under him for the first time.

The hope will be Koscielny can come through that and then take his place in the defence at St Mary's, with Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding injured, Shkodran Mustafi struggling with a hamstring problem and Sokratis Papastathopoulos suspended. Emery was similarly pleased with his return, saying: "Today is another step for him and for us". "When he is coming back like today with us, I think every Arsenal supporter is happy, and so is the player".

Lacazette's early goal settled the game as Mesut Ozil, returning from a back injury, teed up his fellow big-name starter with Emery taking the chance to blood several youngsters.

It remains to be seen how quickly the 33-year-old Koscielny can get back to his best after almost seven months on the sidelines, while Konstantinos Mavropanos, 21, is still out with a troublesome groin injury and hasn't played all season. "And then we are going to continue this process maybe Sunday, but I want to wait tomorrow and Saturday how he will feel after this match".

"When a player is coming back like Koscielny after a big injury - because every big injury can give a player a different moment, a more long time or more short - I think for Koscielny it is good he can recover and I think in good time for his big injury". We are going to look also if he can play 90 minutes or less minutes in this game.

Academy product Zech Medley could also get his first start against Qarabag, although Emery said he has yet to decide whether to play a back three again or revert to a back four. Because [the youngsters] can play better if you have with you also players to help you on the pitch.

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