By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger believes this season, more than ever, the strain of midweek Champions League matches is affecting the Premier League title contenders.

The summit of the table is more compact than usual with seemingly no team able to string a run together to pull clear of the clustered pack, and the Arsenal manager has cited European competition strain as an explanation for the top sides’ inconsistency.

Arsenal themselves have won just two of a possible five games when returning to domestic action after the Champions League - food for thought according to Wenger.

“Maybe it's down to the fact that the teams who play in the Champions League do not always manage to win after that,” he said on Friday.

“I agree with you [that no-one at the top is dominating]. It is the first time it has been like that. I don't know.

“Manchester United have been the most consistent but they have won less games so they couldn't get away from anybody else. As well the teams in the middle of the table have become much stronger."

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3 Dec 2010