Seven Arsenal stars to sit out Europa League opener

Date published: Wednesday 13th September 2017 12:20

Arsenal will rest seven first-team players for their Europa League opener against Koln on Thursday.

The Gunners play their first game in Europe’s secondary competition since finishing as runners-up in the UEFA Cup in 2000.

Many expected Arsene Wenger to make few changes to the side that beat Bournemouth in the Premier League last weekend, but the Frenchman is set to field a number of fringe players.

Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey all missed training on Wednesday, and will not play against Koln.

Jack Wilshere is expected to start his first game for the club in over a year, while Alexis Sanchez could also play in a bid to boost his match fitness.

Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott and David Ospina are just three more squad members who could be handed much-needed minutes.

Wenger is also expected to play a number of youngsters, having hinted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool could open the door for Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock.

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