Arsene Wenger is often a tough nut to crack in press conferences but made his feelings known when asked about the pressure of this week’s fixture schedule.
After securing a 2-0 win over West Brom on Monday night, Arsenal now have less than 48 hours to prepare for a trip to Belarus where they will face BATE Borisov at 6pm (UK time).
Following what we hope will be a comfortable victory, Wenger will be straight back on the drawing board to get his squad ready for a lunchtime kick-off on Sunday against Brighton.
Wenger has already been tested this season with his first glimpse of Thursday night football and the addition of a League Cup tie that resulted in the Emirates Stadium’s lowest ever capacity.
However, with the lack of injuries and lower profile teams that feature in the Europa League, it’s been a great chance to throw the youngsters into some competitive first team football.
And following a fifth successive home win at the Emirates, Wenger was questioned on what sort of squad he will take to Belarus in order to cement top place in the group stages.
I have a decision to make and at the moment I would say that the schedule for us is a bit cruel.
When you look at our schedule over the weekend I think there was some room for us to be scheduled differently, but we have to accept it and we want to go to Borisov with a good team.
I will go with a team of senior players and certainly with a young bench.
So Wenger confirms what we pretty much already knew and we’ll be likely to see a similar starting XI that featured in the Cologne and Doncaster games.
Reiss Nelson, Chuba Akpom, Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matt Macey, Josh Dasilva and Joe Willock are all expected to make the trip having sat out of the Arsenal U23’s 4-2 loss on Monday night.
It will also provide a chance for Jack Wilshere, Rob Holding and Alex Iwobi to get some more minutes as they failed to make an appearance in the West Brom game.