Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey out; Danny Welbeck, David Ospina to start for Arsenal
LONDON -- Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will miss Arsenal's Europa League match against Ostersunds on Thursday but Arsene Wenger is hopeful they will both be fit for Sunday's Carabao Cup final.
Both trained at London Colney on Wednesday, but Wenger said Ozil struggled with an illness earlier this week while Ramsey is just returning from a groin injury.
Wenger said Ozil should be available against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, while he hasn't ruled out Ramsey being available as well.
"[Ozil] was in bed Monday, Tuesday for sickness," Wenger said. "I would certainly have played him, but because he was sick he will have to work hard tomorrow and will not be involved [in the game]."
Ozil played the full 90 minutes in the 3-0 win in Ostersunds in freezing temperatures, while Ramsey missed that trip because of his groin problem. The Wales international took full part in Wednesday's training and still has a chance to be fit for another Wembley appearance, having scored the winning goal in the FA Cup finals in 2014 and 2017.
"[Ramsey] had a good training session," Wenger said. "We will see how his evolution goes between now and Sunday. I don't rule him out [of the final] yet.
"Very rarely in life are you in an ideal situation where you have the luxury to choose from every player in the squad, so we will adapt. Ideally, I would like him to be available, but we'll see."
Arsenal have a comfortable lead going into the second leg of their round-of-32 tie with Ostersunds, and Wenger acknowledged he could give a few youngsters a chance in the return leg.
However, he confirmed that Danny Welbeck and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will both start, and he cautioned against taking their Swedish opponents lightly.
"I always try to find a team who can win the next game," Wenger added. "We play at home, in front of our fans and there is still a lot at stake because this competition is important for us. ... It would be absolutely stupid of us to think we can go out there and have a stroll. Then we could have a bad surprise.''
Wenger also confirmed that David Ospina will be in goal both on Thursday and Sunday as he continues to use the Colombian as his cup goalkeeper.
Ozil's absence could provide an opportunity for 18-year-old Reiss Nelson to make his fourth start in the competition, while fellow teenagers Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock are also expected to be in the squad.
Wenger rotated his team heavily in the group stages of the competition but played a near full-strength team in Sweden. The Europa League has emerged as perhaps Arsenal's best chance of getting into next season's Champions League, as they are languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, but Wenger said it has already served as valuable experience for some of his academy prospects.
"It has been very useful [for the youngsters]," he said. "But as well they have shown me that they have the quality to compete. I think this competition has allowed them to gain confidence to show the other players in the squad that these boys have the needed quality and they can put them under threat.
"Internal competition has been raised, for the threat of everybody. Because the young players who have played have always done well."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.