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Sead Kolasinac could return for Arsenal to face Manchester City

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger says Sead Kolasinac could be fit for Sunday's match at Manchester City and that the wing-back's hip problem is "not as bad as we could fear at the start."

Kolasinac limped off during Saturday's 2-1 win over Swansea after inspiring the comeback victory with a goal and an assist, and did not take part in the full training session ahead of Thursday's Europa League game against Red Star Belgrade.

But Wenger told a news conference on Wednesday that the Bosnia and Herzegovina international felt "much better" and is in contention to face City.

"He'll have a test at the end of the week. He's not ruled out of Sunday's game yet," Wenger said. "But of course he's not involved tomorrow. But it's not as bad as we could fear at the start."

Wenger confirmed he will continue his rotation policy for the Europa League, meaning nearly all of his Premier League starters will again be rested. However, goalkeeper David Ospina is not yet ready to return, meaning Petr Cech could start his second straight game in the competition.

Wenger made it clear that Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud will form his attacking trio once again, meaning Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette will all be rested for City.

Sead Kolasinac will miss the game against Red Star Belgrade but could face Manchester City.

"They all want competition, they all deserve competition because of their quality," Wenger said, adding that he has no reason to change his habit of playing two separate XIs for the Premier League and Europa League.

"Not really because both of the teams do well. Even in training when they play against each other it's very tight. I've gone into a rotation policy and I want to stick with that at the moment."

The Arsenal boss has used his second string for both the Europa League and Carabao Cup, and said the team's attitude across all competitions has really pleased him.

"My biggest, pleasant experience this season is how focused the whole squad is in every single game," he said. "That's the first time in my life I've seen that, how united and focused the whole squad is. And I'm really honest when I say that. You cannot say that any player in any competition has gone a little bit easy. The focus of the squad has always been exceptional."

Wenger also dismissed speculation that he is preparing to make another bid for Monaco's Thomas Lemar, after failing with a deadline-day offer in August.

"No -- at the moment, I have a big squad and the problem for me is to keep everybody together to the end of the season," Wenger said. "Do we go in the transfer market in January? I don't know yet."

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


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