Arsenal to go full strength against Ostersunds with one eye on Manchester City EFL Cup Final


Arsene Wenger looks set to stay true to his word and play a strong team against Ostersunds in the Europa League on Thursday.

Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny all trained this morning before the club flew to Sweden for the first leg of the last-32 tie.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible as his former club Borussia Dortmund are also in the knockout stages and Aaron Ramsey, who missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham with a groin injury, did not train.

Wenger has rotated his team in the Europa League but the competition has taken on more importance because it looks to be Arsenal’s only route into the Champions League next season. Also, Arsenal do not play this weekend because they are out of the FA Cup, which is another reason to field a strong side.

A good result on Thursday would allow Wenger to rest players in next Thursday’s return leg and keep them fresh for the Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley three days later.

Alexandre Lacazette has been ruled out for up to six weeks after knee surgery so Danny Welbeck is set to start up front.

Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles on benefits of playing Europa League football

Ostersunds boss Graham Potter said: “More people go to the Emirates on a matchday than the 50,000 who live in Ostersund. Arsenal shouldn’t be playing against us, that’s the reality.”

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