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Arsenal: Will Arteta send second lineup to Europa League games?

Mikel Arteta at Arsenal
© Ace Football

The Gunners are competing in a close title race in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal will play with their best players in the Europa League despite their tight domestic calendar, according to Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners are out of both EFL Cup and FA Cup, but they are still competing in the Europa League. The tournament’s last-16 round revealed Arsenal must take on Sporting Lisbon on March 9.

As Arsenal push to claim their first league title since 2004, speculations have emerged that Arteta might rest his main lineup against the Portuguese side. 

However, the Spaniard believes leaving out key players would only trigger more criticism.

“We will try to pick, all the time, the team we believe is the best to win on the day,” Arteta said.

“Because if you do something different people will say: ‘Why did you pick this team and we didn’t win in the Europa League?’ You’re never going to win that battle.

“We’re going to pick the players that are in the best possible condition, because it’s really important to win the game to be in a better condition to win the next one.”

Arsenal take on Everton in their next Premier League game on Wednesday. The Gunners will then host Bournemouth before travelling to Lisbon for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Sporting CP.