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Arsenal will “rest” Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos for their Europa League opener at Eintracht Frankfurt says boss Unai Emery.

Ozil, has played just 71 minutes of football this term making his first start in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Watford.

The 30-year-old missed the start of the season after being targeted by carjackers and because of illness.

“I decide which players can be best and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut,” Emery said.

Greek defender Papastathopoulos, who has also been left out for the same reason, has played in every minute of the club’s five domestic games.

Speaking more about his decision to omit Ozil – who retired from international football with Germany in 2018 – Emery added: “Really the first match he played on Sunday, he played well and was good physically.

“Now he is ready to help us, not tomorrow but on Sunday – we are going to play another match and tomorrow we are thinking to do some rotation.”

Forward Alexandre Lacazette (ankle) is also missing for Arsenal who lost 4-1 to Chelsea in the final of the Europa League last season.

Full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are also not ready for the trip to Germany after resuming full training but defender Rob Holding is in line for a first appearance for nine months after being included in Emery’s travelling party.

Last season’s Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht will be hoping that Serbia winger Filip Kostic is fit after he missed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Fellow Serb midfielder Mijat Gacinovic is also expected to be available after recovering from a groin problem.

BBC

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