Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he will need to rest some players for the Europa League clash with BATE Borisov on Thursday night (28 September) due to the Gunners' "cruel" fixture schedule.
The French boss was speaking on Monday night (25 September) after his side beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 thanks to two goals from Alexandre Lacazette.
Wenger was delighted with the victory but the manager hit back at the schedule as Arsenal have to travel to Belarus on Thursday (28 September) before hosting Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.
"I have a decision to make and at the moment I would say that the schedule for us is a bit cruel. We played tonight, we play in BATE Borisov on Thursday night and play Sunday at 12 o'clock here.
"When you look at the schedule over the weekend, I think there was some room for us to be scheduled differently, but we have to accept it and we want to go to Borisov with a good team. I will go with a team of senior players and certainly with a young bench," Wenger said following Arsenal's 2-0 win over West Brom.
"There is no need to talk to the Premier League about that because it's the television that decides, but, for example, yesterday Brighton v Newcastle could have been played on television, tonight or they could have played yesterday.
"So for us the time is very short, but television decides and I don't complain about that. But what I want to say about my team selection is that it has an impact for me for the Thursday and for the Sunday game, because we have another home game and it's very important we have a strong record at home."
Wenger had no fresh injury concerns from the victory over West Brom but the Arsenal boss provided an update on Santi Cazorla's long-term recovery.
The Spanish maestro is yet to play a game since the Champions League's 6-0 win over Ludogorets on 19 October 2016, having being forced to undergo several operations due to an Achilles injury. Cazorla has been running since earlier this month but the Arsenal manager reiterated that the midfielder won't be back anytime soon.
"It won't be before Christmas," Wenger said. "The first signs are positive, but still he has not played for one and a half years. He is not in full training yet, he needs a few games with the reserve team, so I think if all goes well, it will be after Christmas."