Gareth Barry believes Aston Villa's players will reap the benefits of their first midweek break for nearly two months ahead of the double-header with Arsenal and Manchester United.
Martin O'Neill's side have had to get used to the demands of playing UEFA Cup football for the first time in eight years - and international call-ups as well have meant there has been little time to recharge the batteries.
England midfielder Barry told PA Sport: "Hopefully we will have reaped the benefits of a little rest this week."
Successive league defeats against Newcastle and Middlesbrough have dealt a blow to Villa's chances of breaking into the top four of the Barclays Premier League.
Now they face a trip to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday before entertaining the Red Devils the following weekend in between another round of internationals.
He added: "We knew this season was going to be different for us, playing the majority of times in midweek and then the weekend and a few of the lads had mentioned their legs are tired.
"But this is where we want to be. We want to be playing all these games. It means you are doing well if you are competing and playing every three days or so.
"The two league defeats was a disappointing thing. They were games we felt we could have got stuff out of and we came away with no points.
"But we are a team of battlers and we will look forward to the next two games with Arsenal and Manchester United. We know they are tough but it is always a good challenge to see how far we've come."
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