Europa: Ramsey, Ozil to Miss Gunners’ Clash with Ostersunds


Arsenal midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil will miss this evening’s Europa League last-32 second-leg against Ostersunds FK.

Manager Arsene Wenger took a near full-strength squad to Sweden for the first leg, which his side won 3-0, but will use some of his younger players at the Emirates.

Wenger said Germany international Ozil, 29, has been ill while Ramsey is recovering from a groin injury.
“There’s still lots at stake,” he said.

“Ozil was in bed Monday and Tuesday. I would certainly have played him, but because he was sick he will have to work hard to be back to fitness and won’t be involved.”

Although Wales international Ramsey will also miss the Ostersunds game, Wenger said he will not rule the 27-year-old out of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

The Gunners boss confirmed that January signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is cup-tied for Sunday, and striker Danny Welbeck will start today.
Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, who has been picked for the majority of Arsenal’s cup matches this season, will keep his place ahead of Petr Cech.

Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, and need to finish the season in top four or win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
“We have to focus on the Premier League,” added Wenger. “The Europa League is one of the priorities we have.
“But ideally we want to come back to the Champions League through the Premier League.”

Wenger said he was impressed by Ostersunds’ Iran international forward Saman Ghoddos during the first leg.
“He is a fantastic player, technically and tactically. I was very impressed with him,” he said. “The whole team is playing good football.”

Meanwhile, Ostersunds midfielder Tesfaldet Tekie says the Swedish club still believe they can upset the odds and beat Arsenal in north London.

The 20-year-old, who played the second half of last week’s defeat by the Gunners, is on loan from Belgian side Gent.

“You can never say,” he said of his side’s prospects. “It was great to play in the first match. Really big. I was pleased with the effort we made towards a really good team.
“I played my game. I tried to do what I’m good at. Now we’ll see.”