Ozil scored Arsenal’s third goal in the Gunner’s 4-0 win over Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday

Mesut Ozil has not been included in the Arsenal squad to face Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday.

The German midfielder has been omitted due to personal reasons and will play no part in the Gunner’s round of 32 first leg tie in Athens.

It is understood Ozil is staying behind due to his wife being close to giving birth to their first child.

Arsenal kick-off against the Greek Super League leaders at 20:00 GMT.

Matteo Guendouzi returns to the squad after being dropped for the Gunners’ 4-0 win over Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

The 20-year-old French midfielder was reported to have had a heated row with Gunners manager Mikel Arteta and members of his coaching staff during a mid-season training camp in Dubai.

Guendouzi could find himself in contention for a starting role against Olympiakos as Lucas Torreira is temporarily sidelined for the trip to Greece due to illness.

The club have confirmed that if there is a “significant improvement” in Torreira’s condition over the next 24 hours the Uruguayan midfielder could travel to join the rest of the squad.

The tie with Olympiakos will be Arteta’s first taste of European football as Gunners boss since succeeding fellow Spaniard Unai Emery at the Emirates in December.

Arsenal, who are 10th in the Premier League and seven points off fourth place, reached this season’s knockout stages with a record of three wins, two draws, plus an away defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, a result which saw Emery sacked after 18 months in charge.

The Gunners reached the final of the Europa League last year but were beaten 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea in the Olympic Stadium in Baku.

Arteta says he will see if his younger players can handle the intimidating atmosphere of the sold-out Karaiskakis Stadium.

“It is part of the process,” he said.

“You don’t know until you expose them. They can have the best intention but they need to go to a stadium like here and when they make a mistake or a bad decision, have the courage to try again and play again.

“And I want to see that in my players, whether they are 17 or 35. That’s what I expect from them. If they keep trying, they have my full support.

“If they hide after that, I don’t like it. But what I’ve seen up to now, every time they play on that field they are responding really, really well. That’s what I am hoping and I am sure they will do it tomorrow.”

Match stats

  • None of the eight previous meetings between Olympiakos and Arsenal have finished level, with each side winning four games each including 3/4 home wins for the Greek side.
  • This will be Arsenal’s ninth meeting with Olympiakos – they’ve only ever faced Bayern Munich more often in all European competition (12).
  • Olympiakos have won just one of their last 11 knockout stage matches in major European competition (D4 L6), winning 3-0 at Osmanlispor at this stage of the 2016-17 Europa League.
  • Arsenal have progressed from 11 of their last 12 two-legged knockout ties in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, falling only at the 2017-18 semi-final in this run.
  • Bukayo Saka has been involved in six Europa League goals this season (two goals, four assists), more than any other Arsenal player. Indeed, only three players in the competition as a whole have been involved in more goals than the 18-year-old this term.



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