By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger will give his established stars time to recover before they attempt to get their title challenge back on track next weekend.

Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat against Chelsea on Sunday to leave them back in fourth place and 11 points behind the Blues - albeit with a game in hand.

The fixtures will come thick and fast in December, but before Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign against Stoke on Saturday they travel to Manchester City in the Carling Cup. City manager Mark Hughes plans to select a first-choice side at Eastlands on Wednesday night but Wenger will not be tempted to follow suit.

Indeed, the Frenchman intends to extend his policy of fielding fringe players and youngsters to the Champions League in order to give his regulars a breather before vital Premier League games.

"The Carling Cup is a competition that is not one of our priorities, but we go to Manchester City to win a game," said Wenger.

"We'll play our young players in the Carling Cup, and some of them will play in the Champions League [at Olympiacos next week] as well because we are already qualified.

"For us it is important to win in the Premier League [against Stoke] because we lost two games, and that of course is a massive disappointment. And two games for the first time we didn't score. We are used to scoring goal after goal, but at the moment we aren't scoring."

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30 Nov 2009