Arsène Wenger says he plans to field a strong team for Arsenal’s Europa League clash this week, hinting that Alexis Sanchez could feature given how keen he is to play in Europe.
Most fans were perhaps expecting that Arsenal would field a much weakened side in Europe this season, at least in the group stages, given the lesser quality compared to the Champions League.
However, whilst Arsène Wenger confirmed there would be some changes, he told Arsenal.com that the team would still pretty much be the strongest available: “It will be a Premier League team,” he said.
“Some players will come in of course, because many players played twice for the national team, and then again today. So two or three will not be in the squad, but most of them will play.”
Alexis Sanchez could be one of the surprise names to make the squad, as he’s Daily Star keen on playing in the European competition for Arsenal. “Alexis Sanchez is very focused on the Premier league and the Europa League and he wants to do well,” added Wenger.
There’s a good chance the 28-year-old could be one of those selected on Thursday, especially given he didn’t start against Bournemouth and will need extended match fitness ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea.
Wenger will just have to decide how many minutes he should give to the former Barcelona man, as to not overwork him prior to the clash with the defending champions. Playing on Thursday and then playing again on Sunday wouldn’t be the worst idea.
It’s just unlikely Alexis will be given full 90 minute appearances on both occasions.