Arsenal has left six first-team regulars in London ahead of its final Champions League group stage match against Olympiakos Piraeus in a bid to avoid fatigue following the home defeat to Swansea City.
Midfielders Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta, forwards Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott as well as defender Per Mertesacker were all missing from Arsenal's 18-man squad for today's match in Greece. Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho will be surrounded by fringe and youth team players, five of whom are yet to make their first-team debut.
Manager Arsene Wenger said the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Swansea last weekend, which left Arsenal 10th in the table, changed his plans for the Olympiakos match.
"Saturday's defeat affects the thinking for Olympiakos. There are many players who need a rest, because they are on the verge of getting injured. Some played with knocks against Swansea," the Frenchman said in his regular email to Arsenal supporters.
Arsenal has already guaranteed passage through to the last 16.
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