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English Premiership

No Cazorla, Walcott, Mertesacker for Bayern

WALCOTT-CHELSEALONDON, England, March 13- Arsene Wenger faces a furious backlash from supporters as he prepares to surrender Arsenal’s Champions League dream against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

More than 3,000 Gunners fans will arrive to discover that Wenger will field a severely weakened team after prioritising a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Wojciech Szczesny has been dropped because of ‘mental’ issues and calamity goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski will make his first appearance of the season.

Arsenal are already missing Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna as they attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit.

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla are expected to be rested and replaced by Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin in midfield.

Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson could play in defence, with Per Mertesacker taking the night off.

Wenger said: ‘Swansea is a massive game this weekend and qualifying for the Champions League is massive.

‘We want to be in there and I don’t envisage anything else. That’s why it was so difficult for us to lose at Tottenham.

‘It means more because it was Tottenham, but it was the impact for us in the league which was the worry for me.

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‘Every player wants to play in the Champions League. You want to play at the top level and the Champions League is the top.’

Szczesny, 22, has been axed by Wenger after a disastrous run of form in front of Arsenal’s vulnerable defence.

Wenger added: ‘He is mentally affected a little bit, so I decided to rest him. Szczesny has played in every single game. It is only his second season at the top level and if you look at the number of goalkeepers at the top, not many are his age.

-Daily Mail

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