Arsène Wenger says the decision to play international fixtures on Friday and Tuesday makes a big difference to Arsenal’s pre-match preparations.

Prior to this season games during international breaks were usually held on Saturday and Wednesday but the Frenchman was among those concerned that the calendar gave his players insufficient time to recover before resuming their club duties.

Wenger is currently without 16 of his first-team squad while they represent their countries but he knows that the new format gives him more time to prepare them for Saturday’s trip to Norwich.

“It’s much better now the games have moved to Friday and Tuesday. Those 24 hours make a huge difference, especially when you have players who play in South America or in Asia,” Wenger told Arsenal’s Official Magazine.

“You have the chance to recover, and when we play on Sunday it’s even more of a benefit. So without a doubt it is much better, but we had to fight for years to get it.

“I’m glad we have got it. They are speaking now about having international games on every day from Friday to Tuesday in the international break. Each team would have at least two days between games though. I’m in favour of that - it could help with attendances too.

“So overall it’s better. It’s still not perfect for the clubs, but it’s better than before.”

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    15 Nov 2011