Robin van Persie believes Arsenal and Manchester City have both fallen foul of fixture scheduling in recent days.
The clubs will meet in the Quarter-Finals of the Carling Cup at Emirates Stadium this evening on the back of disappointing draws in the Premier League.
Arsenal were held by Fulham on Saturday and City dropped points for only the second time this season when they drew 1-1 at Liverpool.
Van Persie understands that fixture congestion is always a factor for successful clubs but he thinks the past week has been especially harsh on Arsenal and their next opponents.
"Saturday’s game was our third in seven days, and that’s a lot of football," he told the Official Matchday Programme.
"We had a tough game at Norwich in which we had to fight until the very last minute, while four days later we had an intense game against a very fit Borussia Dortmund side that kept us occupied right until the end.
"Recovery time between Wednesday and Saturday was our shortest for a while; it’s not an excuse, but if you play Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday you do perhaps feel five or ten per cent different than you would if you had an extra 24 hours.
"We still had our chances to win against Fulham, but I think everyone sensed that there was a little bit of fatigue somewhere.
"Manchester City have a similar situation this evening, to be fair – even worse, because they had a really tough game at Liverpool only two days ago. I know it’s hard to get the fixtures right for every single team, but I don’t really understand the scheduling for either us or City.
"These are big games, screened everywhere on TV, and people expect everyone to be fit and put in an amazing performance. At some point, that’s not realistic - if you’re playing four games in nine days, you’ll suffer in the end. Sometimes I feel the fixtures could be decided a little more sensibly."
You can read Robin's captain notes in Tuesday's Official Matchday Programme. Subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.