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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Wenger refutes Jose claim

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rejected Jose Mourinho's claims that his side have an advantage in the Premier League title race due to their extended recovery time following matches.

Last Updated: 27/01/14 at 15:30 Post Comment

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The Chelsea boss hit out before his side's 1-0 home victory over Stoke on Sunday, two days after Arsenal beat Coventry 4-0 in the FA Cup at the Emirates.

The break gives the Gunners, who travel to Southampton on Tuesday, 24 hours more to prepare for their match than Chelsea, who entertain West Ham on Wednesday.

"It is simple. If you look at the fixtures and analyse them you can see that Arsenal is behind all the other teams," said Wenger.

"In the last five years all the studies that have been made show Arsenal have had less rest than any other team in the top four.

"This is fact. It has nothing to do with my opinion, it is an independent company which has made that and has shown that Arsenal has had less rest between the games than any other top-level team."

Asked if it was no more than mind games from the Chelsea manager, Wenger said: "No. This is an opinion and I don't live with opinions. I live with facts.

"The facts are not depending on me, or Mourinho, just objective analysis. A day is 24 hours. Count how many days there are rest between two games and you will see that.

"I didn't make the study. It has been made by an independent company which I cannot influence."

One man suffering as a result of the heavy programme is Jack Wilshere who picked up an ankle injury during Friday night's 4-0 victory over Coventry in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

He will miss the clash with Southampton but the Gunners will have defender Thomas Vermaelen and midfield duo Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey available for the match at St Mary's though.

"We have a doubt about Jack Wilshere, who had this ankle problem during the game against Coventry," Wenger said.

"But we have three players back normally in the squad. The three are Vermaelen, Arteta and Ramsey.

"They should all be back and available, but we might lose Jack for tomorrow's game."

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