By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Laurent Koscielny is targeting a shock comeback when Arsenal take on mighty Bayern Munich in next week’s Champions League showdown, Football Insider sources understand.
Koscielny is aiming for an earlier-than-expected return from the hamstring injury he suffered in the Gunners’ 3-2 defeat against Olympiakos on 29 September.
Arsene Wenger confirmed three days later that he expected his leading centre-back to be out for “three weeks”.
However, Koscielny is making smooth progress in his recovery and is hopeful he could be in contention for the crucial clash against Bayern next Tuesday.
Arsenal face an uphill task to qualify from their Champions League group after losing their opening two matches against Olympiakos and Dynamo Zagreb. They are likely to have to beat Pep Guardiola’s team at least once in their home-and-away clashes to guarantee entry to the knockout stages.
In Koscielny’s absence, Wenger recalled Per Mertesacker for the 3-0 Premier League win over Manchester United before the international break.
The German has slipped down the Arsenal centre-back pecking order this season following the emergence of Gabriel, who has become Wenger’s preferred partner for Koscielny.
In other Arsenal news, Mesut Ozil has opened discussions with the club over a new contract.