Wenger set to field weakened team in Belarus

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is set to field a number of squad players in tonight’s Europa League game against BATE Borisov.

Some youngsters are likely to feature, with midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles and forward Reiss Nelson expected to start for the visitors.

The likes of Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac are expected to be rested for the match, while Danny Welbeck is unavailable as he is out injured.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the game in Belarus, Wenger explained: “We have a tight schedule. It’s an important game, only one or two young players will start.

“It’s a good test for the young players. They will have to cope with that intimidating atmosphere. It will be very loud.

Maitland-Niles has been a part of the first-team squad for some time and Wenger believes he is ready to step up.

The 20-year-old has made 11 senior appearances for the Gunners, with three of them coming this season.

“Maitland-Niles’ best position is as a central defensive midfielder,” the Frenchman said.

“He has great quality, he can steal the ball without making fouls. I believe he is ready to play. He has a great future.”

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