By 90Min
April 12, 2018

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Granit Xhaka will miss his team's Europa League match against CSKA Moscow due to a bout of flu.

The Swiss international has been a virtual ever-present in the Gunners' starting lineup this season, but is set to sit out the return leg against the Russian outfit due to illness.

Wenger broke the news at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday (via football.london) as he also explained why he may look to rest some of his stars, what with Arsenal having a commanding 4-1 lead from the first leg at the Emirates stadium seven days ago.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

He said: "We have some players not here. We have lost Xhaka today, he is not here because of flu.

"It’s vital that we focus on the performance tomorrow. We have to turn up with a strong performance. Yes we have an advantage, but the best way to build on the advantage is to try to win the game, we play with our best possible team and will have a positive attitude and try and win the game."

Arsenal remain one of the favourites to lift this season's Europa League trophy and know that failure to do so would result in yet another season without winning a cup for the north London side's fans.

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Wenger has faced ongoing criticism from sections of Arsenal supporters due to the team's failure to contest for the Premier League title, and consistent speculation about his future with the Gunners has only heightened in recent weeks.

Asked if his job was dependent on securing silverware in the final weeks of the campaign, however, Wenger refused to be drawn on those rumours and instead chose to focus on the task in hand for him and his squad.

He added: "The Europa League is important for us, everybody knows that. We are at a stage of course where we focus on it because in the Premier League we have a very, very, very slim chance to get further up so the Europa League is one of the big targets of the season now."

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