13 Feb, 09:30
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that he will name a full-strength side for the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie against Swedish outfit Ostersunds FK on Thursday.
Wenger used the competition as a chance to rest a number of key players during the group stages, including the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but his side have since been knocked out of the FA Cup and fallen off the pace in the top-four race. The Gunners could be eight points adrift of the top four by the time they kick off on Thursday and, while Wenger has insisted that it is too early to prioritize the Europa League as a possible alternative route back into the Champions League, he has suggested that he will name a strong team.
"I would have anyway gone for it, especially as we have no game between the two matches," Wenger is quoted as saying by football.london. "I will play the normal team because it is one of the opportunities we have especially because we don't play in the FA Cup. There is no reason why I should rest players."
Arsenal are not in action at the weekend due to their FA Cup exit, meaning that their next two matches both come against Ostersunds.