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A slew of starters to be rested for Europa match

14 September, 2017, 01:18 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Arsenal star hits out at rival clubs who spend ‘£200m on transfers

On Thursday night, at the odd and unfamiliar time of 8:05 p.m. BST, Arsenal's demotion on the European stage will become reality when they kick off their opening game of the Europa League group stage at home to FC Koln. The manager has made it clear that the Premier League is his priority and is expected to rest a number of his regular starters in the group-stage opener against Cologne on Thursday. "If you are going to get knocked out, you are better off doing it early on so you can concentrate on the other trophies".

This season's Europa League represents a golden opportunity for Wenger to finally win European silverware for his club.

His "obvious" ability, even in a press conference, became obvious when his first 79-word answer contained the word "obviously" three times. Ozil and Ramsey are rested.

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With the French striker on the cusp of reaching 100 goals for Arsenal it was seen as good enough a reason to have him as a rare figure sat alongside Arsene Wenger at top table to fulfil UEFA media stipulations.

"We played on Wednesday night in Barcelona and against Everton on Saturday morning. I don't give the team out today, I will give it out on Thursday".

'This is a challenge but in the Bundesliga we have played against teams with similar qualities as Arsenal'. Jose Mourinho took a risk in placing all his eggs in the Europa League basket a year ago and was ultimately rewarded as his Manchester United team beat Ajax in the final, booked a spot in the Champions League group stage and added another item to the club's trophy cabinet.

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"It's true that I was close to leaving the club as I said I wanted to play but [I stayed] after a big reflection with family and close friends".

"We were one point short of making the Champions League [last season]".

"I believe there was always a huge pressure on him to come back as quickly as possible and to expect a lot", Wenger said. The fact that winning the Europa League would bring both that and a piece of silverware is what makes it so appealing, particularly as the north Londoners are widely considered outsiders in the race for the top four back home.

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