The final Champions League game this week gave Arsene Wenger a great chance to rest a few of his overworked Arsenal players because there was little riding on the result. So with the festive period about to provide a stern test of the Gunners squad, with six games in the space of three weeks, the boss eagerly took the opportunity to give the likes of Alexis, Welbeck, Cazorla and Gibbs a break.
Now I wonder whether the Frenchman might be tempted to do the same thing again, to a lesser extent, for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday evening. The way the second string performed in Turkey could well have given Wenger some food for thought and there are players that could do with another game off after featuring so heavily in the season so far.
One that is probably most in need of a break is Per Mertesacker, even though he has retired from international football duty with Germany, as the defender has been ever present due to the injury problems of Laurent Koscielny and the lack of sufficient cover in the squad. Only Alexis has started more games, but with Chambers suspended and a Newcastle side coming off the defeat of Chelsea to face, I cannot see our BFG getting any time off just yet.
One player who is in with a good chance of playing again after the Galatasaray game is Lukas Podolski and that could mean that Danny Welbeck gets another rest. Our new striker could then be fresh to come off the bench if needed, for the German or Olivier Giroud. Podolski has proved again how useful he can be, but would you start him ahead of Welbeck? And are there any more first team regulars you world rest ahead of the festive period?