Arsenal, Clubs, Red Star Belgrade, Story, UEFA Europa League


Arsene Wenger will continue with his policy of squad rotation as Arsenal host Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Gunners boss has made sweeping changes from his Premier League side and the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are once again expected to come in.
Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Sead Kolasinac (hip), Santi Cazorla (ankle), Danny Welbeck and David Ospina (both groin) will play no part.
Wilshere has featured in the Europa League as Wenger selects an almost completely rotated side in Europe and the Carabao Cup.
That means the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez will not feature on Thursday as they prepare for the tough test against early Premier League pacesetters Manchester City on Sunday.
“Both of the teams do well,” Wenger replied when asked about his squad rotation across competitions.
“Even in training, when we play them against each other, it’s very tight. I’ve gone into a rotation policy and I want to stick to that at the moment.
“I must say that I am pleased with the quality of our performances in every single competition.
“It’s very difficult to make a change. They all want competition, they all deserve competition because of their quality.
“If you look at the number of minutes played by all of these players since the start of the season, many of them are in very competitive shape and that should be an advantage of us for the rest of the season.”
While Kolasinac was unlikely to feature against Red Star, Wenger revealed the wing-back, who scored and laid on the winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Swansea on Saturday, is expected to recover from a hip problem in time for the trip to City.
Red Star Belgrade boss Vladan Milojevic has backed Wenger’s decision to rest his key players.
“I think last time after the first match in Belgrade, the Arsenal squad proved it is much bigger than ours and they have quality players and they all deserve to play in the first team,” he said.
“Arsene Wenger knows his players, I don’t want to interfere in is job – they are playing in four different competitions.
“They have shown they have a big roster of players, such high-quality players and Arsene Wenger is looking to the future and he is balancing young players with experienced players.
“These young players can get lots of experiences in the Europa League and I can understand that he will give chances to them. That is important for their future.
“They showed in Belgrade they are such a strong team but I think we can still play our own game, compete with them.”



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