Arsenal will travel to Dubai after Sunday’s Premier League clash with bottom club Burnley as Mikel Arteta aims to have the “best possible” break to get a fully fit squad.
The Gunners are in the mix for a top-four finish this season but have suffered a dip in form with a number of key players unavailable.
A mixture of injuries, positive coronavirus cases, suspension and the Africa Cup of Nations has left Arteta with depleted ranks – leading to last weekend’s north London derby at Tottenham being postponed.
Burnley have also struggled with numbers of late and the Clarets have not played a league game since January 2.
Arsenal have yet to win in 2022, losing in the last seconds to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on New Year’s Day before a defeat at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.
That was followed with a goalless draw at Liverpool in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, with the Reds winning the second leg 2-0 on Thursday night.
Asked how much Arsenal needed a break, Arteta replied: “It is why we want to play on Sunday because we want to take away the disappointment of Thursday and the best way to do that is to play and perform and win.
“It is always a big challenge to play against Burnley and the experience we have with that team, it’s always that they do really well what they do.
“They cause a lot of difficulties in the match and we’re going to have to be really ready to compete and play the game we want to against them.
“After that we have the break, we know that and we use it in the best possible way to get back the amount of players we need to compete at this level.”
Part of that break will be spent in the Middle East with a warm-weather training camp in Dubai planned.
Arsenal do not return to action until a trip to Wolves on February 10 but a behind-closed-doors friendly is also scheduled upon their return.