Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mesut Ozil needs a rest but insists that the German international will start in Arsenal's top of the table clash against Chelsea on Monday at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have been thrown off their porch and have a must win game against the Blues on Monday if they have to keep their position at the top of the table. Liverpool and Manchester City's wins in the weekend mean that the north London club have to beat Chelsea at the Emirates to recover their two-point lead at the top.
A draw will take them to second spot, behind Liverpool on goal difference, while a loss will push them back to the fourth, having lead the table for so long this season.
Wenger will be desperate to lead the table during Christmas, having seen the trend where only one team has failed to lose the Premier League having lead on Christmas, over the last 10 years. The Gunners have had a great run in the Premier League but have lost the way over the last couple of games in the league, having taken only one point from a possible six.
Their bad run started against Everton where they conceded a late equaliser to secure only a point followed by a 2-0 loss to Napoli in the Champions League and a 6-3 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the corresponding weekend. Arsenal have had nine days to rest since that loss and Wenger will be hoping that they will be able to pull themselves together and give a good account of themselves against another of their title challengers.
On Ozil needing a rest, he said: "In Germany and most of Europe they have Christmas off and at some stage I will have to give him a break. But Monday night? No."
"We've had a couple of disappointing results but we have been in much more difficult situations. I knew we could perhaps be in trouble against Man City, having played three big games in six days, and three games the week before. Now we have had a little breather," he concluded.