Mikel Arteta needs to rest and rotate jaded squad

What was telling about last weekends games was just how poor all the teams that played in Europe looked.

Man City drew against West Ham whilst Liverpool laboured to victory against Sheffield United.

Chelsea against Manchester United was the dullest game of the season and Arsenal v Leicester City was not much better. Tottenham also struggles to victory against Burnley.

Teams struggling after midweek European ties is not a new thing, but in this condensed season those clubs in Europe will put even more strain on their squads.

Mikel Arteta needs to rotate in Europe, keeping one eye on the weekend games.

At home to Dundalk is an easier fixture than Manchester United away, on paper at least.

To combat Arsenal running out of steam in the last 30 minutes like they did against Leicester, Arteta should consider not playing as few players that he expects to use on Sunday tonight.

That means Cedric ahead of Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac ahead of Kieran Tierney.

Centre back is a little more awkward as despite Arsenal having about 49 defenders, we only have two fully fit in Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel.

With David Luiz picking up a knock at the weekend, William Saliba not in the European squad and Rob Holding only just back in training, it’ll be Gabriel and Mustafi in defence.

Moving forward, Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos & Thomas Partey should all be saved for Sunday. That opens the door to Mo Elneny, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in central midfield.

The front 3 should be Reiss Nelson (if fit?) and Eddie Nketiah, and whichever of Nicholas Pepe, Willian or Bukayo Saka won’t start on Sunday.

Rest, rotate, do enough to win the game and then move on to Sunday.


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