Arteta anger at Arsenal fixture congestion

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has expressed his frustration at the scheduling that will see the Gunners travel to the Etihad on Saturday, despite returning from the trip to Napoli just over 48 hours beforehand, reports the Guardian.

The Champions League tie saw Arsene Wenger’s side travel to Naples for Wednesday evening’s tie, before a rush back to England as the players prepare for the visit to Manchester City, which is a 12.45pm kick off.

But Arsenal midfielder Arteta insists that the team wont use fatigue as an excuse against Manuel Pellegrini’s men, “The recovery time is very tight,” Arteta says.

“I don’t understand why we play Sunday afternoon, Wednesday evening, get back at 4am and then play again on Saturday morning in Manchester. There is nothing we can do – just recover well. It’s a big game and we want to win it.

“The preparation will just be about recovery. It’s not ideal. There is a late warm-down [on Thursday], we try to get our legs back for Friday… travel on Friday and be as well prepared as we can because they will be ready for us. They rested seven or eight players in Munich [against Bayern on Tuesday night].

With the possibility of fatigue in mind, Arsenal could be faced with a winless week if they are to get beaten at the Etihad, following the home draw with Everton on Sunday afternoon, before the 2-0 defeat at Napoli.

The Gunners still went through to the knockout stages of the Champions League despite defeat to the Italian outfit, but Arsenal face a two sides in the top four as they take on Manchester City and Chelsea in their next two fixtures.

Wenger’s side remain top the of the Premier League and five points clear, but defeat at Manchester City would close the gap to three points, and if Chelsea and Liverpool both win their matches this weekend the gap at the top will be just two points.

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