The kick-off times for Arsenal’s Europa League group stage fixtures have now been confirmed.
As we mentioned yesterday, after a relatively kind start to the season things get very hectic for Mikel Arteta’s side with five games taking place in September followed by nine in October. A further four games are set for November before the mid-season break for the World Cup.
While our Dutch, Norwegian and Swiss opponents shouldn’t be underestimated, we can at least be thankful that we’re not being sent to the edges of the continent during this period.
GROUP A EUROPA LEAGUE FIXTURES
FC Zurich vs Arsenal
Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven
Arsenal vs Bodo/Glimt
Bodo Glimt vs Arsenal
PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal
Arsenal vs FC Zurich
Mikel Arteta is pumped for the return of continental action to the carpet. Ahead of the match with Fulham, he said: “We missed it last year so much: those nights at the Emirates, the atmosphere, playing against European teams. The preparation is very different, and it’s great.
“We have to go for every competition that we are present in, and try to win it. We’ll go step by step and start to prepare for the competition in the best possible way. There are some good examples around of teams who have won the competition in the last few years.”
The Spaniard is also acutely aware of the impending need to rotate his squad.
“We have to maintain the level of performance we are at right now and the demand will be to do it every three days, which is what you are hoping for when you are at this club,” he added.
“Rotation depends on the level of the opposition, the state of our squad and where everybody is. Let’s take it game by game, see how the fitness of the team is and we’ll make the best possible decisions.
“Does rotation mean we rotate two players, three or 10? You have to weigh up the amount of minutes they have spent together [on the pitch] and find a strategy to get the best out of the team and get the right balance without dropping the level of performance. You need to win today and play a team who is going to get you there.”