Europa League: Wenger reveals team selection against Ostersund

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

Arsene Wenger will not prioritise the Europa League ahead of the Premier League, despite admitting that Tottenham Hotspur might have dealt Arsenal's top-four hopes a vital blow on Saturday.

That defeat left Arsenal seven points behind the Lilywhites in the race for Champions League qualification and it looks increasingly unlikely that the Gunners will finish in the top four.

The victor of the Europa League is granted passage into Europe's premier club competition and many are eager for the Gunners to follow in the path of Manchester United two seasons ago.

Speaking about the potential lineup of Arsenal against minnows Ostersund, Arsene Wenger said, "I would have any way gone for it, especially as we have no game between the two matches". "But we have to fight as long as we have a mathematical chance".

Arsenal travel to Sweden to face Ostersunds FK in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night, with the game exclusively live on BT Sport.

"But I think that's the only way they can qualify for the Champions League - by taking the Manchester United route and winning it [the Europa League]".

Graham Potter has won three of his six Europa League games as a manager (excl qualifiers); the only English managers to have won more in the competition are Roy Hodgson (10/21), Steve McClaren (6/18) and Alan Pardew (4/12). "It's not right but, if it is an opportunity, we have to take it".

Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.

However, with no FA Cup commitments this week and no domestic matches until the EFL Cup final on February 25, Wenger is prepared to name a strong side against Ostersund.

"In the past, this team has always shown good character and we need to put a run together now and give ourselves a decent chance of challenging".