left six first-team regulars in London ahead of their final Champions
League group stage match against Olympiakos Piraeus in a bid to avoid
fatigue following the home defeat to Swansea City.
Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta, forwards Lukas Podolski
and Theo Walcott as well as defender Per Mertesacker were all missing
from Arsenal's 18-man squad for Tuesday's match in Greece.
Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, and
Gervinho will be surrounded by fringe and youth team players, five of
whom are yet to make their first-team debut.
Arsene Wenger said the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Swansea last
weekend, which left Arsenal 10th in the table, changed his plans for the
defeat affects the thinking for Olympiakos. There are many players who
need a rest, because they are on the verge of getting injured. Some
played with knocks against Swansea," the Frenchman said in his regular
email to Arsenal supporters.
important that we do well in Greece but, away from home, I'm not too
concerned. We look like we play a little bit with the handbrake on at
home. It's not fluent. There might be a psychological component in there
"I knew Swansea
were a good side and before the game I was concerned that we could be a
bit jaded because we had many players who had played a lot of hard games
recently. But we were guilty of losing the game at the moment when we
should not have lost it."
have already guaranteed their passage through to the last 16. They can
top Group B if they win and German side Schalke, who lead the English
club by one point, draw or lose against French champions Montpellier.
players needed a rest because they were a bit on the fringe of injury,
and some players are injured," Wenger told the club website.
count the injured players I speak about Podolski and Walcott. We needed
to rest Wilshere, 100 percent, and Cazorla, Arteta and Mertesacker
played many games recently. They have been rested.
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."
last visit to Olympiakos's Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 12 months ago
ended in a 3-1 defeat for the North London side. They overcame the Greek
side by the same margin at home in October.
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