Olivier Giroud offers overview of Gunners' Europa League preparations

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While Chelsea have an extra two days to prepare for the contest, Wenger has told his players he does not expect it to make a big difference. The midfielder was just a year removed from perhaps the greatest performance a teenager has ever put on in the Champions League, against Barcelona, and was still being touted as perhaps the most technically proficient and talented young midfielder England had ever seen.

Arsene Wenger's side beat Leicester City in their opening match of the new campaign but back-to-back defeats to Stoke City and Liverpool in the following two games left fans fearful of another nightmare season at the Emirate Stadium. As well, he is not completely at his best, but he is getting there every week.

His "obvious" ability, even in a press conference, became obvious when his first 79-word answer contained the word "obviously" three times.

If Arsenal fail to perform, Wenger will not be blaming the Cologne game - for which Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will be rested - as he feels there is enough time to recover.

We want to enjoy the game and show passion in the game, ' he said.

According to The Independent, the players were excused from training on Wednesday morning as they will not be involved on Thursday.

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Asked whether Wilshere will start against the Germans, he said: "I don't give the team out today - I will give it out tomorrow".

'This is a challenge but in the Bundesliga we have played against teams with similar qualities as Arsenal'.

However, the Europa League presents what is most likely Arsenal's best chance in Europe since reaching the final of the Champions League in 2006.

"We were one point short of making the Champions League [last season]". Arsenal should bury the Europa League to the very back of their priorities, for now at least.

Olivier Giroud appeared in front of the media alongside Wenger and is expected to play, while Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin trained with the squad as part of the club's pre-match preparations. The club has given me a lot, I want to win some more trophies.