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Arsenal Team News: A slew of starters to be rested for Europa match

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Wenger has one eye on the weekend as he brings in the B team.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Training & Press Conference Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger confirmed today in the Köln pregame press conference what many had thought: he’s resting many key players ahead of their Sunday clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger cited recent international duty as one of the main reason for resting stars but the move hints at previous statements prioritizing the Premier League over other competitions. Europa is a major trophy but it’s not the one he wants.

Still, every competition your in is one you should try to win, so forming a B-Squad and keeping them sharp could yield results going forward. David Ospina, Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker all look to draw back in, as well as youngsters Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock. Alexis Sanchez is also expected to start, in efforts to build match fitness for big games ahead. Arsenal shouldn’t be looked to as pushovers. Whether players on the fringes of the team, including Shkodran Mustafi or Calum Chambers, can break into the side remains to be seen.

A big surprise is Jack Wilshere is not only training well and healthy but is likely to get his first team game in, gosh, I don’t even remember. Whatever the Europa League offers, is The Wilsh can use it as a platform to resurrect his career, even if it won’t be at Arsenal, some good can come of it.

Wenger also confirmed that Arsenal’s injury front remains fairly rosy. Francis Coquelin is still out for three weeks and Santi Cazorla remains but a dream.