Team news: Wilshere, Koscielny, Ramsey

Arsène Wenger has named an experienced squad for our Europa League last-32 first leg against Ostersunds on Thursday, though some familiar faces haven’t travelled.

The manager gave an update on his team at his pre-match press conference - here’s what he said:

on who hasn’t travelled…

Wilshere, Koscielny, Cech, Aubameyang (ineligible) left behind and everyone else has travelled.

on whether the pitch was a reason for leaving some players behind…

One or two had recent problems, like Koscielny with his Achilles. Wilshere was more precautionary.

on if those precautions are because of the playing surface…

I don’t know exactly what the pitch is about, but I wanted to rest Jack because he was sick before the game against Spurs. 

on Ramsey…

It is a little bit sensitive case because we expected him to be a bit further in his development of the groin problem and he doesn't move forward as quickly as we expected it. Today we would say that certainly he will not be available even for the next game against Ostersunds. Maybe for the cup final, we don't know yet, it depends how he will progress from now.

on if this squad is stronger than the ones he named in the group stage…

We go into direct knockout so of course the risk is higher. We are ambitious in the competition as well. So, yes, we are more experienced than we were before.

on if our league position has had any bearing on his squad…

I would have done that anyway, no matter what happens in the league. We, of course, try to focus on the league but we would have brought an experienced team here.

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