Arsenal: Chamakh is feeling the strain

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Marouane Chamakh's form has suffered due to a heavy workload.

Chamakh made a strong start to his debut season in the Barclays Premier League, but his influence has waned in recent weeks.

The 27-year-old free transfer from Bordeaux has failed to hit the target in his last three matches and Wenger must decide whether to rest him against Chelsea tonight.

With Robin van Persie ready to start and Nicklas Bendtner also available, Wenger has options should he decide Chamakh needs a break.

"Marouane has given a lot. He has played a lot on his own up front. He is a bit tired at the moment," Wenger said. "He's used to having a winter break in France at this stage of the season.

"He has played nearly every game since the start of the season. He feels that he had a little dip physically, but he's working very hard in training to come back."

Arsenal have lost their last five matches against Chelsea, conceding 13 goals in the process.

The Premier League trophy has resided at Stamford Bridge three times since the Gunners last won the title in 2004 and Chelsea are the reigning champions.

But Wenger insists they can hold can hold their heads high against their London rivals, who sit two places lower in the table in fourth spot.

"Let's say we look at the number of points we have and we have nothing to envy," Wenger added. "We just need to get over that hurdle of winning a trophy. As long as the team has not won one trophy, people wonder: 'Can we win?'.

"It's a mental thing. We have the quality, we are maybe a bit young, but not so much now. We still have to build a new team and manage to stay at the top.

"There are a lot of teams who would be happy where we are, but we want more and that's our purpose this season. Our target is to deliver and respond to the demands that people have."

Meanwhile, John Terry has warned that Chelsea are ready to inflict another home humiliation on Arsenal tonight.

The Barclays Premier League champions crushed the Gunners 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium last season and 4-1 in the previous campaign. And captain Terry believes a repeat performance is on the cards.

"We think we can go there and do what we did last year," he said. "If we're not thinking that, we shouldn't be playing."

Terry added: "Everyone is in the right frame of mind; it will be two

weeks by the time the game comes around since we've played.

"We're raring to go and want to get off to a flying start."

Chris Martin

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