Arsene Wenger To Rest Key Duo Ahead Of Man Utd Showdown
Arsene Wenger is set to take another gamble against Olympiakos tonight by resting Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Manchester United
Arsene Wenger is set to take another Champions League gamble against Olympiakos tonight by resting Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey ahead of Sunday’s huge showdown with Manchester United, according to the Mirror.
The Gunners are already under pressure in Europe after losing away to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one so tonight’s game against Olympiakos has already been dubbed as ‘must win’ if the North Londoners are to qualify from Group F.
However, the Mirror are one of several newspapers who are reporting that Wenger is ready to take another gamble by resting some of his key men ahead of the United game this coming weekend.
Petr Cech will once again be left out – just as he was against Zagreb two weeks ago – with David Ospina handed another start in the Champions League.
Wenger has confirmed he plans to give the Colombian international regular games but insists he will make a decision over his No.1 in Europe on a game-by-game basis.
The Gunners boss is quoted as saying by the Mirror:
“What I just want to say, it was not because I have decided Ospina [always] plays in the Champions League. It will go game by game and there can be a different decision.
“I need to give him [Ospina] games and I think he is a top-level goalkeeper, but that doesn’t mean that he will play.
“That’s our job, our job is about selection and competing with other players. I think he [Ospina] does that extremely well.
Ospina wasn’t particularly at fault for either of the goals in Croatia but his inclusion over Cech for a huge Champions League game is still a big risk from Wenger.
The Frenchman will resist the temptation to make wholesale changes tonight, as he did against Zagreb, but the Mirror do claim that Aaron Ramsey is another first teamer who’s set to be rested ahead of the United game.
Ramsey has played in both games against Tottenham and Leicester recently so the Welshman is set for a breather to ensure he’s fresh heading into the crucial clash with the Premier League leaders this weekend.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to come in and replace Ramsey on the right-wing while Francis Coquelin is set to return to the starting eleven after recovering from a knee injury.
So it sounds like Wenger will play a strong side with the exception of Cech and Ramsey being rested and fans will be praying it doesn’t back-fire as anything other than a win tonight will leave Arsenal’s qualification hopes in the balance with a double-header against Bayern Munich up next.
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