Arsenal boss Wenger: No excuses for Chelsea after Thursday Euro tie

Taylor Byrd
September 14, 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down the effects of playing on Thursday nights in the Europa League this season ahead of this weekend's game against Chelsea.

If left out of the squad entirely for Thursday's Europa League clash with Cologne, Wilshere's Arsenal career could be in serious jeopardy.

David Ospina is meanwhile set to start in goal, whilst some of Arsenal's young talents could get game time.

Arsenal's previous appearance in this competition, when it was known as the Uefa Cup, was against Galatasaray in the 2000 final with the Turkish side winning 4-1 on penalties. Players knew that we had to give our 100% against Bournemouth because we had to win no matter what.

However, Wenger was looking for no excuses for a congested fixture schedule, stating it is not a problem.

Most importantly, it's a major European honour-something a club of Arsenal's size should always aim to win, even if it isn't quite at the same level as the Champions League.

Stoger, though, has the services of Marcel Risse and Milos Jojic, after both players returned to training ahead of the away day visit to North London.

With his goal expected to be peppered by the Gunners' attack on the night, he will need to be at his best to ensure his side goes back home with an unlikely point - or more. "This season is a good opportunity for him as well".

But Wenger looks likely to rest several of his big-name players for the match against the Bundesliga side.

While they lost that final to Galatasaray, it appears certain now that Wenger is taking an nearly League Cup approach to the Europa and saving his first-teamers for the knockout stages of the competition. Arsenal my have had a battle-hardened core of English veterans, but Wenger nearly immediately brought with him a change of focus toward continental players and methods that saw careers extended and trophies lifted.

The Gunners get their European campaign up and running at the Emirates Stadium but will have a notable number of absentees, with a trip to Chelsea in the Premier League just around the corner on Sunday.

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