Even though the Gunners have another tough fixture away at Stoke City this evening, Arsene Wenger is set to rotate the Arsenal squad as his players face their third League game in six days. They have managed to beat Man United and also a tough awayday at Southampton, but the limits of the squad will be tested in Stoke as Wenger tries to keep some fresh legs for Tuesday’s visit from already-relegated Sunderland.
As Le Prof said on Arsenal.com: “Basically, we [are in a run of] four games in 10 days, because we played last Sunday, Wednesday, now Saturday and then Tuesday [against Sunderland],”
“We are in a position where we know what is requested, so everybody in the squad will have to play a part in that and it’s a good opportunity for us to show that we can produce the performances needed and that we can maintain the focus on every single game.”
Arsenal still have a hope of reaching a Top Four position if Liverpool slip up, but Wenger is not expecting Stoke to roll over in a traditionally tough fixture for the Gunners. “When they play against Arsenal, I think all teams are focused,” Wenger continued. “You never expect any weaknesses from them. I believe that at the moment we have just to focus on our own performance and not to expect any weakness from our opponents.
“Stoke have improved their technical level over the past two or three years. Technically they can compete with everybody, so these players on their day can be creative, they can be incisive, they can create goal chances. We know that.”
Having said that though, Stoke are not a team in form at the moment, so Wenger will be hopeful that a second string side can keep our momentum going. Hopefullt Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit enough to recall after only playing half an hour against the Saints, and Giroud and Coquelin will likely be recalled after only having cameo roles on Tuesday. What other changes do you expect Wenger to make?