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Olivier Giroud offers overview of Gunners' Europa League preparations

Olivier Giroud offers overview of Gunners' Europa League preparations

Arsene Wenger believes the Premier League is still the best route for Arsenal to return to the Champions League fold next season.

The Gunners haven't actually won a European title since 1994, when they were victorious in the European Cup Winners' Cup, so there is every chance that the Gunners will take this competition very seriously. "We are very focused on this Europa League, we want to go and win it, we are very ambitious and I am looking forward to the game tomorrow".

Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette all sat out the open training session on Wednesday.

"As a top club you are expected to play two-three times a week so we have to be able to cope with that", he said.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared himself pleased with Jack Wilshere's recovery from his latest injury setback, as he prepares to hand the midfielder his first appearance of the campaign.

It could be useful as a platform on which to develop young talents and give much-needed match practice to others, but results should not be paramount.

"Every game is an opportunity for him and this season".

Nacho Monreal could also be given a rest ahead of Chelsea so Rob Holding may come in to the side but Shkodran Mustafi could retain his place as he looks to get back to his best following a hard start to the season.

"The disadvantage is of course that he was out of the game for a long time, but there are advantages as well", he said.

The match against Koln, though, is a tricky opening outing, with several of Wenger's first-team players set to be rested, with one eye on the weekend's clash against Chelsea.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has admitted that he genuinely came close to leaving the club during the summer in the pursuit of more regular football, before ultimately deciding to stay with the Gunners because he felt the "story was not finished".

"[The] Europa League is a very important competition for us".