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Arsene Wenger wants Prem to 'respect fairness of competition' for scheduling

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has told the Premier League to "respect the fairness of the competition," saying Arsenal are at a disadvantage when playing opponents with more rest time between games.

Arsenal had one day less rest than Manchester United between league games going into last weekend's match, and will face the same situation against West Ham on Wednesday after facing Southampton on Sunday.

West Ham play this weekend on Saturday, while United played on Tuesday ahead of their 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium, compared to Wednesday for Wenger's team.

"I have nothing against the fact that we have to do that, as long as our opponents have the same recovery days," Wenger told reporters. "That was not the case last week, and it will not be the case next week again. Because between three days and four days, it's a massive difference on the recovery side.

"If we have to play every day, I don't mind, as long as our opponents play every day as well. I think there is a job to do there [for the Premier League] to respect the fairness of the competition. And if you look at it, I believe that many teams don't fight on an equal front on the recovery side."

Arsenal's problems for the upcoming games are caused in part by being in the Europa League and playing on Thursdays, which forces league games to be scheduled for Sunday rather than Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side face Southampton on Sunday before playing West Ham on Wednesday.

"What I would like is that teams who have a tight schedule are faced with the same problems," Wenger said. "I can understand that we have to play all the games, you just want to play against teams who have the same problem as you."

The short turnaround should not be a problem for the Southampton game, though, as Wenger again made 11 changes for the 6-0 win over BATE Borisov on Thursday.

But he could be tempted to rotate his squad for the West Ham game, especially after players such as Jack Wilshere impressed against BATE.

Wilshere has yet to start a Premier League game this season, but has said he does not want a move to a different in club in the winter transfer window.

Asked if he will still be at Arsenal after January, Wilshere told the club's website: "I think so, but you have to ask the manager. It's down to the manager and the club. I've said before how much this club means to me.

"I enjoy playing for this club, whether it's in the Europa League, Premier League or Carabao Cup, and as you said, I've only got six months left on my contract. But we'll see, I'm enjoying playing at the moment."

Wilshere scored his first Arsenal goal since 2015 against BATE and is still hoping for an increased role in the league as well.

"I'm always trying to make a statement," he said. "I'm not in the Premier League team, so I'm trying to get into that. Every game and chance I get is an opportunity for me to show the manager what I can do and hopefully I did that tonight."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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