Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger considers resting Robin van Persie and Mikel Arteta to hand Champions League debut to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Olympiakos

The Gunners boss is poised to gamble with his lineup against the Greek champions as he seeks to keep his key players fresh for the north London derby at the weekend
Arsene Wenger is giving serious consideration to resting Robin van Persie and Mikel Arteta for Arsenal's Champions League clash against Olympiakos, can reveal.

Wenger is already without 10 players through injury but is ready to gamble with a weakened team for Wednesday's night's match to keep his big guns fresh for Sunday's north London derby. understands that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be handed his Champions League debut and only his second senior start if Arteta is left out, while Marouane Chamakh, who has started only two games this season, is set to stand in for Van Persie.

Arteta has missed only eight minutes of Arsenal's four matches following his deadline day move from Everton, while skipper Van Persie has maintained his prolific form of last season with five goals in eight games.

Wenger is mindful of keeping the key pair fresh, especially given Van Persie's injury history and the long-term absence of Jack Wilshere, which has placed further emphasis on Arteta staying fit.

Arsenal is already without a string of first-team regulars as their injury crisis shows little sign of abating.

Laurent Koscielny, as revealed by, and Gervinho were both ruled out on Tuesday, although they should join Theo Walcott in being fit to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Arsenal was already without Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen and Sebastien Squillaci, while rookie center-half Ignasi Miquel was injured during the warmup before Monday's reserve game against Blackburn Rovers. Midfielders Yossi Benayoun and Abou Diaby are also out.

Alex Song is set to drop back and partner Per Mertesacker in central defense, while Emmanuel Frimpong and Tomas Rosicky will join Aaron Ramsey in midfield.

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