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Sports News of Thursday, 14 September 2017


LIVE UPDATES: Europa League

It’s another night of European Football, only this time it is the UEFA Europa League- a competition that the elite teams in Europe do not like to play in.

But after Manchester United won it last season and found their way back into the Champions League, you won’t be wrong in thinking that the Europa League has now assumed somewhat of a greater importance than it did a few years ago.

The prize money has increased and the winner of the Europa League automatically qualifies to the Group Stage of the Champions League- now that is some motivation, won’t you say?

This season, the presence of AC Milan and Arsenal is set to add some genuine star quality to the tournament.

With Arsenal facing a tough test in the Premier League on Sunday with a trip to champions Chelsea, Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal coach has suggested that he will rest a host of his first-team players when Arsenal begin their Europa League campaign at home to FC Koln, but Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere may feature.

Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette have all been left out of the squad.

Wenger says the best way of returning to the Champions League next year is via a top-four Premier League finish.

"We did that for 20 years," he said.

"We got 75 points last year and overall, I am humble enough to be happy to win every competition," added the Frenchman.

"I think the best way to do it is through the Premier League."