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Arsenal’s Official 18-Man Squad To Face Olympiacos Announced
We head to Greece to play Olympiacos off the back of Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to Swansea at the Emirates and the boss has responded by leaving several first team players at home.
The likes of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud have all been omitted giving a chance to some of the younger squad members to shine on the big stage.
Five players come into the squad who could make their first-team debuts – Zak Ansah, Sead Hajrovic, Elton Monteiro, Chuba Akpom and James Shea, and Arsene told Arsenal.com that some of the more established names simply needed a rest:
“Some players needed a rest because they were a bit on the fringe of injury, and some players are injured,”
“When I count the injured players I speak about Podolski and Walcott. We needed to rest Wilshere, 100 per cent, and Cazorla, Arteta and Mertesacker played many games recently. They have been rested.
“It is [to avoid fatigue], and we have one luxury, that we can do it. But we have as well one necessity, to win the game tomorrow night. I tried to find the right balance between resting some players and as well having a competitive team tomorrow night.”
Arsenal squad to face Olympicos:
1 Wojciech Szczesny
5 Thomas Vermaelen
7 Tomas Rosicky
15 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
16 Aaron Ramsey
18 Sebastien Squillaci
22 Francis Coquelin
23 Andrey Arshavin
25 Carl Jenkinson
29 Marouane Chamakh
38 Martin Angha
39 Zak Ansah
48 Sead Hajrovic
53 Jernade Meade
55 Elton Monteiro
60 James Shea
67 Chuba Akpom
We have already sealed qualification to the knockout stages after a 2-0 win over Montpellier two weeks ago, but risk missing out on top spot in the Group if we fail to pick up all three points on Tuesday, which will be a tall order for this young squad.
Has Arsene made the right decision in resting the first team players? Get involved in the comments section.