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Wenger to rest key players

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rested six players, including forwards Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, for Tuesday’s clash with Olympiakos.

The Gunners have already guaranteed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, prompting Wenger to excuse Podolski and Walcott, as well as midfielders Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, along with defender Per Mertesacker for the trip to Greece.

Wenger has instead called up a range of fringe and youth team players, five of whom could make their senior debuts.

“Some players needed a rest because they were a bit on the fringe of injury, and some players are injured,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.

“When I count the injured players I speak about Podolski and Walcott.

“We needed to rest Wilshere, 100 percent, and Cazorla, Arteta and Mertesacker played many games recently. They have been rested.

“It is, and we have one luxury, that we can do it. But we have as well one necessity, to win the game tomorrow night.

“I tried to find the right balance between resting some players and as well having a competitive team tomorrow night.”

Arsenal will top Group B if they win and German team Schalke, who lead the London club by one point, draw or lose against French champions Montpellier.

Mon 3 December, 2012
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