Arsene Wenger believes his Arsenal side will be able to cope with their hectic end of season schedule – and may even benefit from playing games in such close succession.
The Gunners overcame West Brom with ease on Thursday night, and they have only three days rest before coming up against Sunderland on Sunday afternoon, a game which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
While other teams played earlier in the week, and have longer resting periods, the North London side have been handed an unfortunate schedule.
But Wenger is not worried and feels the experiences of plenty of midweek Champions League fixtures is perfect preparation for his players.
“Between Thursday and Sunday and Wednesday and Saturday morning is exactly the same,” he said.
“You know we played on Wednesday night at Barcelona and then on Saturday against Everton at 12.45pm.
“It’s no problem. In fact, there’s a very interesting study that has come out from UEFA that shows that the points taken by the teams three days later are not less than after four or five days.
“It’s the opposite and that is quite interesting. The study has been made in all the five best leagues in Europe. Nobody has proven that it is a disadvantage to have only three days rest.
“The points on average are better than after four or five days.”
Wenger’s team have failed to match their expectations this season, but two players in particular have excelled.
Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin have been two of the best performing players in the Premier League, and the Frenchman admitted surprise that Ozil had not made it into the PFA Team of the Year.
Full-back Bellerin was the only Arsenal representative in a side dominated by Tottenham and Leicester stars, and he was quick to praise his teammates for the help they have given him on the path to recognition.
“I feel very proud about the award,” the Spaniard told Arsenal Player.
“That said, I could have never managed to achieve it without my team-mates. Playing for Arsenal helps because all my team-mates help you improve and stand out. I am very thankful to my team-mates.
“For a professional the second season is always the hardest. You must prove that the level you showed in your first season was not a coincidence. Also, you must keep a good level from the beginning to the end of the second season. Being awarded makes me very proud.”