Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is unconcerned with the timing of their Premier League game with Manchester City.
Wenger’s side go into the Saturday lunchtime game five points clear at the top of the table knowing they will face a tough test of their title credentials at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has voiced his concerns at having to play again so soon after their 2-0 defeat away to Napoli in the Champions League.
But Wenger insists that could work to their favour, with a positive result in the lunchtime fixture helping to pile pressure on the chasing pack.
“I think we have an opportunity to make the difference by playing first tomorrow,” he said.
“I don’t complain about the timing of the fixtures, we don’t use it as an excuse.
“When you play Wednesday night and Saturday morning you cannot do a lot in training. It’s mostly recovery.”
Wenger also revealed he would not trade his squad with that of City, defending the club’s traditionally prudent stance and insisting Arsenal have a more versatile side than their opponents.
“City has a strong squad, I don’t deny that but when I look at my squad I don’t envy them,” he added.
“We have more creative players and we are more versatile. It’s easier for me to rotate.
“City have gone a different way. What our policy shows is we have consistency in our attitude and results.
“We respect our income and expenses but we have better resources now.”
As for the game itself, Wenger revealed that defender Bacary Sagna will undergo a fitness test to assess his hamstring injury.
Striker Lukas Podolski is available after recovering from a similar problem but he may not be risked, while there was a positive update on Theo Walcott following his recent return to action after a stomach injury.
“Sagna will have a test today. Podolski is available but I feel he is a bit short,” said Wenger.
“It took Walcott a while to get back to full power but he is looking stronger this week.”