By Editor Wayne Veysey
Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are set to face Olympiakos in their must-win Champions League showdown despite missing training on Tuesday, Football Insider sources understand.
The key duo did not take part in full training at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters before the squad boarded the plane to Greece on Tuesday afternoon.
But they have been selected in a 19-man squad and an Arsenal dressing room source has told Football Insider that Arsene Wenger is expected to name the pair in his starting X1 against Olympiakos for a match the Gunners’ must win to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
The Gunners need to beat the Greek champions by a margin of two goals, or win by a one-goal margin and score at least three times, to qualify from Group F and extend Wenger’s outstanding record of steering the team into the Champions League knockout stages for 15 consecutive seasons.
Ozil and Ramsey will be central to Arsenal’s goals quest at the home of the Greek champions in what is expected to be a febrile atmosphere.
Ozil has supplied 12 Premier League assists this season, double that of his closest rival, while Ramsey will be deployed in his favourite central midfield position and carries one of the team’s principal goal threats.
Wenger has taken a 19-man squad to Greece, with teenager Jeff Reine-Adelaide joining the 18 players who were in the squad that beat Sunderland 3-1 last Saturday.
Arsenal squad: Cech, Ospina; Bellerin, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini, Chambers, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Ozil, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide; Giroud, Walcott.