Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss calls for Premier League protection from ‘difficult’ schedule

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss calls for Premier League protection from ‘difficult’ schedule

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Mikel Arteta during Arsenal v Manchester CityArsenal fell to second place in the Premier League after losing to Manchester City on Wednesday

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has urged the Premier League to protect clubs from “very difficult” turnarounds between games.

Arteta’s side lost 3-1 to title rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

The Gunners will be back in the league just 63 hours after the defeat when they take on Aston Villa at 12:30pm on Saturday.

“There are certain rules in the Champions League,” said Arteta.

“If you play on Wednesday night and then you can’t play [on Saturday lunchtime]. I think that should apply to every competition.”

In 2020, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp criticized broadcasters for moving a Premier League game to a Saturday midday after a Champions League game on Wednesday.

Rules changed in 2021 to prevent Champions League clubs from playing Premier League early Saturday.

“By the same principle, I think you’re talking physiologically, it’s very difficult to turn back during this period to get the best result and reduce the risk of injury for the players,” Arteta said ahead of Saturday’s game at Villa Park.

“They set the schedule the way they did. It’s a bit unusual, but it is what it is.

“It’s not about being worried or not worried. We have to play. I want the players to be in the best possible spirit and physically ready to face this challenge.”

Arsenal fell to second in the Premier League after Wednesday’s defeat but they have a game ahead of City, who only lead on goal difference.

Pep Guardiola’s side enter the pitch just two and a half hours after Arsenal on Saturday when they play Nottingham Forest at 15:00 GMT.

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