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Jan 27, 2014

Wenger: Injuries could derail season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the Gunners dare not lose key players ahead of a defining few weeks in their bid for major honours.

Mangan: Gunners in cruise control
•  McNicholas: German contingent shine

The FA Cup fifth round draw paired Arsenal with Liverpool -- part of a run of fixtures that includes a Premier League game against Manchester United and a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.

"What is important is that you don’t lose players, that you have all the players available," Wenger, whose side face Southampton away in the Premier League on Tuesday, said. "That is very important, but you can never be sure about it.

"You just go game by game, focus on the next one and, if you win the next one, you have more chances to win the one after. So the two together -- keep your squad available and win the next game. That's our policy.

“We have plenty of big games, and that means the whole squad will need to be highly focused. To deal with that is a massive challenge for the squad, but I’m confident we can do that.”

Wenger was also asked about Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s suggestion that Arsenal were being given an unfair advantage by the fixtures.

“If you look at the fixtures and analyse it with an objective view, you will see that Arsenal are behind all the other teams,” he said.

“In the last five years, all the objective studies that have been made have shown that Arsenal have less rest than any other team at the top level in the top four. That’s facts -- nothing to do with my opinion.

“I don’t live with opinions, I live with facts. The facts are not depending on me, not depending on Mourinho, just on objective analysis.”

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