MIKEL ARTETA questioned the Premier League’s rule with Arsenal set to take on Aston Villa just 63 hours after Wednesday’s final whistle against Manchester City.

The Gunners bid to return to the top of the table in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Villa Park.

Mikel Arteta has hit out at the Premier League scheduling for fixtures


Mikel Arteta has hit out at the Premier League scheduling for fixturesCredit: Rex

But Arteta fears his side will be disadvantaged by playing so soon after their rip-roaring title clash with City – something a Champions League side would not be asked to do.

Arteta complained: “There are certain rules with the Champions League teams.

“When you are playing on Wednesday night, you cannot play on Saturday lunchtime.

“That should apply to any competition.

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“It’s been discussed at the managers’ meetings and that is why the changes were made towards the Champions League teams.

“If you follow the same principle physiologically, it is very difficult to turn around in that period to get the best outcome and reduce the injury risk for players.”

Premier League chiefs changed their kick-off rule for the teams involved in the Champions League in May 2021 following a rant from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

But it doesn’t apply to domestic fixtures selected by BT Sport for their 12.30pm Saturday slot.

And now the Arsenal boss fears his team could pay the price as they look to end a run of four games without a win.


He said: “They put the schedule the way they did and it’s a bit unusual, but it is what it is.

“The players are highly motivated for the Villa game because we want to perform well and win.”

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