Midfielders Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta, forwards Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott as well as defender Per Mertesacker were all missing from Arsenal’s 18-man squad named to travel to Greece for Tuesday’s match.
Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, and Gervinho will be surrounded by fringe and youth team players, five of whom are yet to make their first-team debut.
“Some players needed a rest because they were a bit on the fringe of injury, and some players are injured,” Wenger told club website (www.arsenal.com).
“When I count the injured players I speak about Podolski and Walcott. We needed to rest Wilshere, 100 per cent, and Cazorla, Arteta and Mertesacker played many games recently. They have been rested.
“It is (to avoid fatigue), and we have one luxury, that we can do it. But we have as well one necessity, to win the game tomorrow night. I tried to find the right balance between resting some players and as well having a competitive team tomorrow night.”
Arsenal have already guaranteed their passage through to the last 16. They can top Group B if they win and German side Schalke, who lead the English club by one point, draw or lose against French champions Montpellier.