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Arsene Wenger has said Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy is set make his first start in nearly year on Thursday against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League.

Debuchy’s only appearance last season came against Bournemouth in November, but the French right-back lasted just 15 minutes before suffering another injury.

A number of setbacks have kept him sidelined since then, but Wenger confirmed that Debuchy will return to the line-up in Belgrade as he deals with a defensive crisis.

“He will certainly start tomorrow,” Wenger said. “He has not played for a long time because every time he was close to coming back he was injured again.”

Wenger’s makeshift defence is also expected to include Rob Holding and academy product Josh Dasilva, who has never started a game for the Gunners.

Wenger has few other options as Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are both out injured, Laurent Koscielny is nursing a sore calf and Per Mertesacker will be rested after making his first Premier League start of the season at Watford on Saturday.

Mathieu Debuchy last played for Arsenal in November 2016.

Other youngsters like Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson are also expected to get another chance to shine, while Petr Cech will be start in goal as backup David Ospina didn’t travel with the team.

Arsenal are looking for their third straight group win and are also looking to bounce back from the disappointing 2-1 loss at Watford that left them in sixth place in the Premier League.

Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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