x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Gunners feel the pace

Arsene Wenger fears his Arsenal side could already be suffering from burnout, with less than a third of the season gone.

Arsene Wenger fears his Arsenal side could already be suffering from burnout, with less than a third of the Barclays Premier League season gone. The Gunners slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Stoke on Saturday, with Rory Delap's devastating long throw teeing up goals for Ricardo Fuller and Seyi Olofinjana before Gael Clichy's consolation. Wenger shuffled his pack, with four changes from the side that drew 4-4 in an exhausting north London derby in midweek.

But the Frenchman, facing the prospect of three games in six days, starting with Wednesday's Champions League clash against Fenerbahce, is already starting to see signs of fatigue. And injuries to Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adebayor and Bacary Sagna at the Britannia Stadium, as well as a red card for Robin van Persie, are unlikely to ease Wenger's concerns. "We tried hard to win but Stoke, at the moment, are very sharp physically," he said. "We looked a bit jaded because we have played a lot of games recently.

"At the moment we are suffering. I don't believe it is confidence, we put a lot in on Wednesday night and we play again in midweek in Europe. * Agencies