Wenger: 'Premier League matches have left us physically drained'

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger admitted last night that his team are struggling "physically" as they face the prospect of playing Manchester United on Saturday without seven of their first-team regulars. His side's disappointing goalless draw with Fenerbahce included a suspected broken nose for Mikaël Silvestre which will leave Wenger severely stretched in defence.

The Arsenal manager could potentially be without William Gallas, Emmanuel Eboué, Emmanuel Adebayor, Theo Walcott and Silvestre who are all injured. Manuel Almunia has a stomach bug and could miss the United game and Robin van Persie is suspended. "We played three games [since last Wednesday] and we had an outstanding game against Spurs and dropped points," Wenger said. "Then we had a little hangover in the game against Stoke. No English teams have won this week, Liverpool drew, we don't really know how [they got their controversial penalty]. Chelsea were not physically sharp. We were not physically sharp. It looks like the Premier League matches dominate teams physically. If you have Premier League games [in the preceding midweek] and then Champions League games the week after it does make it difficult."

He said that Fenerbahce had not come to attack Arsenal and had been happy with the draw. "I felt we created the chances in the first half and we had three or four clear-cut chances but couldn't score. In the second half we dropped physically and from then on we were less dangerous. We had a lot of possession but Fenerbahce didn't come out, they were happy to defend."