Football

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Walcott among Arsenal absentees

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Arsenal will be without half-a-dozen first-team regulars for their Champions League clash against Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium.

England forward Theo Walcott (knee), Ivory Coast striker Gervinho (hamstring) and centre-back Laurent Koscielny (ankle) all sustained minor niggles after Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton.

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun (thigh) and centre-back Johan Djourou (hamstring) remain out while Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and defender Thomas Vermaelen continue their rehabilitation from ankle injuries.

Arsenal eased the pressure on boss Arsene Wenger with their Premier League victory over 10-man Bolton on Saturday, after what has been one of the most testing spells of his 15-year tenure.

In Europe, though, the Gunners have produced the goods, securing a place in the group stages with an impressive two-legged win over Serie A pacesetters Udinese and then coming away from Dortmund with a 1-1 draw after a late goal salvaged a share of the spoils for the hosts.

Wenger, however, is not expecting any easy ride against the Greeks, where he will serve the final match of his touchline ban.

"We are a train that started a bit late in the station, so we cannot afford to drop our consistency," he said.

"You never win easy in the Champions League - when you give absolutely everything, you have a chance to win.

"If you do not prepare properly, then you have no chance.

"After 14 consecutive years in the Champions League, if we have not learned that, then we are really stupid."

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Topics:
Arsenal
European News
Yossi Benayoun
Football
Thomas Vermaelen
Johan Djourou
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Jack Wilshere
Laurent Koscielny
Theo Walcott

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