Arsenal team news: Midfielder to start must-win Champions League clash
By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Aaron Ramsey will start for Arsenal against Olympiakos in their must-win Champions League showdown on Wednesday night, Football Insider sources understand.
The key midfielder did not take part in full training at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters on Tuesday morning before the squad boarded the plane to Greece later that afternoon.
But an Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Ramsey is not carrying an injury and is set to be named by Arsene Wenger in the starting X1 for the pivotal clash.
Mesut Ozil will also start a match the Gunners’ must win to keep their Champions League hopes alive after missing training on Tuesday.
Wenger is keen to manage the workloads of his key players following a series of damaging injuries sustained by regulars over the last few months.
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.
Probable Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Campbell, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud.