Teenager Starts As Wenger Makes 11 Changes | Expected Arsenal XI vs BATE

Ruben Hill
December 7, 2017

Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have not started a Premier League match between them in 2017-18, but have played in Europa League ties.

When asked if having already secured top spot in the group would affect his selection plans, Wenger said: "Not too much, because I have many players available who need competition". He had a test on Friday morning, then even when he went to the game we weren't sure if he would play.

But Wenger will surely be more concerned about having fresh players for their visit to Southampton on Sunday than beating BATE in a clash that can not change Arsenal's status in Group H.

But it seems unlikely he will be risked in the Europa League.

Walcott has not played for Arsenal since the 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade on November 2, with illness seeing him sidelined for over a fortnight of that period.

Arsene Wenger does not believe sides that drop out of the Champions League should be allowed a route into the Europa League.

And yet on a couple of levels it hasn't quite worked out as well as Wenger would have liked.

He spent the last campaign on loan at Bournemouth in an attempt to get regular match action but has only played 65 minutes of Premier League football this season.

None of them have really done anything to force their way into the reckoning for league games, beyond the odd introduction from the bench. So, while you can see the logic in the Frenchman sticking with his experienced players for Thursday night, adding a few of the young up and coming talents would have added a measure of excitement and given fans the chance to see something different.

So, on that note, I am going to predict a fighting game from BATE, who have absolutely nothing else to play for but this game, but we will have just enough quality to win the game.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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