Unai Emery took many of the Arsenal first-teamers on the 12 hour return journey to Qarabag, which seems like a big gamble ahead of the tough trip to Fulham on Sunday, but he left quite a few on the bench and used many peripheral players but still got the result. The coach doesn’t think the travelling will affect the squad too much. He said: “For us it’s not a problem to play on Thursday and then on Sunday because we want to play a lot of matches and a lot of competitions,”
“We also want to give the players the chances and opportunities to play, to give them confidence, responsibility and rhythm like today for all our players.
“Today, the players who sometimes don’t play played, and for us it’s very important on Sunday to produce the best performance. But then also, maybe, players who played today can play on Sunday too. We can do that with some players.”
So it is obvious that we will need to rotate some more on Sunday, and Emery admitted that it is not going to be a simple derby for the Gunners. “Fulham is a very big challenge for us, first because it’s away and second because each match in the Premier League is very, very difficult,” Emery said.
“Fulham bought very good players like Seri, like Anguissa, and they have Mitrovic and Schurrle too. It’s a very good team and I think their coach is a very good coach with experience in England.
“We need to push against them on Sunday and also show our best performance. Our idea is to be focused on Sunday with all of our players.”
If we do get our ninth win in a row at the weekend it would be an amazing feat, considering that even the players that were left on the bench still had to do the gruelling journey and didn’t arrive back until Friday morning. Could tiredness have a big effect on our players at Fulham?