Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal will no longer rest players in Europa League after FA Cup exit

The Gunners face Ostersund on Thursday but have no game on the weekend as a result of being knocked out of the FA Cup

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
@MiguelDelaney
Sunday 11 February 2018 13:36
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Wenger sees no need to rest players
Wenger sees no need to rest players

Arsene Wenger says he will play a “normal team” in Arsenal’s Europa League game against Ostersund, as there is no point in diluting the side now there is no FA Cup to congest the fixture list.

The French manager had on Saturday denied that he would prioritise the second-tier continental competition as a route into the Champions League over the Premier League, since they are now six points off fourth place having played a game more than Liverpool, but that does not preclude putting out a strong team for Thursday’s game.

“I would have anyway gone for it, especially as we have no game between the two matches,” Wenger said, before admitting that a freer schedule only further allows that. “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.”

Wenger also admitted his side have to improve their awful away record. The 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur ensured Arsenal have only won three of 14 games on the road this season, and lost seven.

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“We have to win the next game. Our record since I’ve been at Arsenal is one of the worst away from home. Certainly the worst since I’m in England. That doesn’t work, we have to play much better away from home and make superior results if we want to have a chance to come back.”

Hector Bellerin said it might be an in-game problem, that the Tottenham game exposed.

"I feel like in the first half we were just waiting for things to happen, we didn’t have the initiative to go forward, to keep the ball and that’s our game and if we can’t play our game things don’t go our way so it’s something to learn from and there are plenty of games to play.”

"They came [into] the second half stronger than us and it’s something we need to look at because it happens sometimes and in the games we don’t start the second half as strong as we should have and then we pay for it.”

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