Mikel Arteta bemoans 'difficult' Premier League schedule with Arsenal afforded two days to prepare for Aston Villa clash

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has questioned the league's scheduling, with the Gunners set to take on Aston Villa just two days after Manchester City.
  • Man City game rescheduled
  • Played and lost on Wednesday
  • Next game less than 72 hours later

WHAT HAPPENED? On Wednesday, the north London outfit lost 3-1 at home to Man City. Just 63 hours later, on Saturday lunchtime, they will take on Aston Villa away from home as they fight to regain their place at the top of the league table.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking ahead of the game, Arteta said: "There are certain rules with the Champions League. When you are playing on Wednesday night and then you cannot play [on Saturday lunchtime]. So I think that should apply to any competition. But I think following the same principle, physiologically, that is very difficult to turn around on that period to get the best outcome and reduce the injury risk for players, but that's it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: As Arteta alludes to, there are rules in place that say Champions League teams do not have to play in the 12:30pm (UK time) slot on a Saturday if they have played in Europe on the Wednesday night prior. The Arsenal game against City was rescheduled back in October after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the Premier League decided this was an appropriate time and date to move it to, even with Villa up next so soon after.


Mahrez Man City Arsenal Premier League GFX


Mikel Arteta Arsenal manager ponders during defeat to Manchester City in 2022-23 Premier League

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Unai Emery - Aston Villa 2022/23

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WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Arsenal need just a draw to go top of the Premier League, albeit momentarily before first-placed Man City travel away to Nottingham Forest later in the day.