France take on the Ivory Coast in an international friendly on Tuesday evening – less than 96 hours before Arsenal face Manchester United in an important Premier League fixture at Old Trafford.
Laurent Koscielny may feature in both matches, but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that will not happen.
Wenger has urged France boss Didier Deschamps to give Koscielny the night off in order to keep his star centre-back fit for the Man United clash, as well as Arsenal’s Champions League meeting with PSG four days later.
Koscielny played the full 90 minutes as France beat Sweden 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday. And Wenger says he has no problem with that, but he questions the value of Deschamps picking the 31-year-old for a non-competitive game.
“I’ve never tried to prevent a player from international duty; when it’s a competitive game I never intervene,” Wenger told BeIN Sports, according to The Telegraph. “When it’s a friendly game, for example now Koscielny goes to the French national team, having played every single game apart from the first game of the season with us.
“I understand completely him playing against Sweden, it’s difficult to understand him playing the whole game against Ivory Coast because afterwards we play at Manchester United and then Paris Saint Germain. If it’s not needed, you try to find a compromise that suits both parties. I can’t see the purpose of Koscielny playing the second game.”
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Koscielny has been capped 41 times at senior international level, scoring one goal.
He played a key role as France came second at Euro 2016 this summer.