Should Wenger rest key players in Naples ahead of City clash?

By Avenell Dave

With the exception of the Aston Villa aberration at the start of the season, our defence has been pretty good this season.

We look more committed as a team, working harder without the ball and not flying forward with the abandon that has made us great to watch and easy to play against for the better teams we face.

Can we win the Champions League?

Given the quality of Bayern, Barca and Real, not to mention PSG, you would think not, but then Chelsea won the trophy a couple of years ago and no one would have tipped them.

Of course it is a very very long shot but form and fame don't guarantee prizes even if they help.

But while we have to be cautious, we are five points ahead in the Premier League and have a great chance of being there or thereabouts in the title race at the end of the season.

Although Chelsea is a whole nine days later, the fact that we have such a small gap between this game and the City game on Saturday lunchtime is a shameful example of how television schedules often play little notice to fixture congestion.

We have to try and get something at the Etihad, both from a competition and a belief point of view. Lose in Manchester and the old accusations that we cannot compete with the big boys and struggle against top four clubs will pop up again.

Win or draw and the belief will grow.

Arsene Wenger said i Tuesday's press conference that he will not rotate dramatically in Naples this evening and I can understand why.

He has made wholesale changes in the past and the momentum that the team needs is often lost and takes too long to regain.

And we are not through yet of course so to take our foot off the pedal or take it easy at a ground where the fans are fiery and the atmosphere red hot would be asking for trouble.

How settling for a draw in the home game against Dortmund would have eased our concerns.

I'm still perturbed by the thought of playing a full strength team with two huge domestic games coming up and getting an injury or two or players entering the so-called red zone that leads to injury and a drop in performance levels.

Whatever Wenger says, you could see how tired Ramsey was on Sunday and I suspect Santi Cazorla and even Jack Wilshere could do with a rest before the City game.

I keep banging on about it but I would bring in Serge Gnabry. He works hard, defends well and causes problems and has not let us down when called upon this season.

It may also be a time to bring back Flamini alongside Arteta, a combination that has not worked domestically but provided the platform for us against Napoli at home.

Qualification is not assured and yet for me, Saturday is far more important.

Whatever happens, coming through without needing to exert every last breath to get a result has to be the priority. 



Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Arteta Flamini Rosicky

Gnabry Giroud Ozil