By Ben Dinnery

21st Jun, 2022 | 4:15pm

Expert: Arsenal have the edge over 'big six' as behind-the-scenes details emerge

Arsenal will return for pre-season earlier than any of their elite Premier League rivals because they played fewer matches in 2021-22.

That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

The Daily Mail reported last Monday (15 June) that Arsenal stars have been told to report for pre-season training at London Colney next Monday (27 June).

They will play their first friendly against FC Nurnberg on 8 July, while the rest of the so-called big six are not in action for at least another two weeks.

Mikel Arteta’s side did not compete in Europe in 2021-22 and were knocked out in the early stages of the FA Cup.

Dinnery explains that their less taxing campaign means they have been able to start bright and early ahead of 2022-23.

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“Ultimately, it boils down to comparing Arsenal to some of their rivals in that big six,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

“They played fewer games than the likes of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United in 2021-22.

“Apart from a couple of games in the League Cup and FA Cup, they have only had the Premier League to focus on for the rest of their time. That gives them lots of recovery time.

“That scheduling probably had a direct impact on why they chose to get rid of those players in January. They thought they could cope with a reduced squad.

“Although, in hindsight, they maybe should have looked at backing up one or two positions given the injuries they suffered.

“But when you look at those who went deep into domestic and European competition, they were playing a higher volume of games. That just didn’t happen at Arsenal.

“Maybe that factored into their thinking. There’s nothing wrong with getting your players in nice and early. They’ll now be fixed and focused on the season ahead.”

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