Arsene Wenger is weighing up whether Arsenal captain Robin van Persie is capable of starting the next three games.
Gunners boss does not want to ask too much of leading scorer
Arsene Wenger is weighing up whether Arsenal captain Robin van Persie is capable of starting the next three games as he closes in on a Premier League record.
Van Persie is trying to break Alan Shearer's record for Premier League goals in a calendar year and is currently two behind the former England ace after scoring in last week's win at Aston Villa.
The Gunners entertain Wolves at home on Tuesday and then welcome Queens Park Rangers to Emirates Stadium on New Year's Eve - two games in which Van Persie would be expected to add to his tally.
However, Arsenal also head to Fulham next Monday and, mindful of Van Persie's past injury problems, Wenger acknowledged it would be a 'big demand' for the striker to start all three matches.
Losing Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh for up to a month in January for the African Cup of Nations will place an even heavier burden on Van Persie and Wenger admitted he faces an agonising call over whether to bench his star striker on Tuesday despite him being on the verge of breaking Shearer's record.
"Can he start three games in seven days? We will see. It will be a big demand for him. I don't know yet, we will assess the situation after every game," Wenger said.
"You get his vibes, the medical vibes and you know the history with him. Then you make a decision.
"I rested him in the Champions League because I thought we had enough security there and we could take a gamble."
Wenger admits Van Persie is desperate to break Shearer's landmark, but is confident that the prospect of writing his name in to the record books will not distract the former Feyenoord striker if he is selected against Wolves and QPR.
The Frenchman said: "I believe the great players know what is important. And what is important is that he is the leader of the team. He knows as well that what is important is to win the games. What is important on the pitch is to make the right decision for every situation you face. He does that very well.
"You do not have to make an obsession of it, just play naturally. It is strange because you score goals when you don't think about it."