Arsenal campaign in the 2016/17 Premier League season has continued to show impressive performances, which gives them an opportunity to be viable contenders to the title. The Gunners forward, Alexis Sanchez will be playing for his country in Santiago on Tuesday night against their bitter rivals Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier match. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is currently concerned about Sanchez’s performance in that game as his team approaches their upcoming fixture with Manchester United this Saturday and how it could affect the outcome of the game as well as the online betting on any major sportsbook.
Alexis Sanchez suffered a torn muscle during training a few days ago and Wenger thinks his involvement in today’s game against Uruguay would be a suicidal decision. The Frenchman has showed deep concern for Sanchez’s injury, which according to doctors, is a hamstring problem. Evidently, the manager fears that that he might lose the Chilean again, the same way a hamstring problem ruled him out for six weeks last season from November 29 to January 24. Even though Sanchez missed 11 matches, while the Gunners lost two of those games and bagged maximum points in seven, a similar tend would be costly in a hotly contested 2016-17 season.
Despite his ordeal, Sanchez has recuperated tremendously and Arsenal could lose his attacking prowess if he succumbs to another injury. Currently, the False No. 9 is the top scorer for the Gunners and he admittedly never wants to rest even when he is injured. His fighting spirit showed during training with Chile when he barely sat on the bench even with the heavy strapping. He always wants to be part of every game regardless of his health condition. Sanchez’s relentless attitude contrasts that of Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw Mourinho, who Jose Mourinho last week criticized for not showing the required bravery during crucial games. However, the problem with Sanchez is that he does not know when to stop.
A few days before suffering the injury, the Arsenal forward admitted his reluctance to heed Wenger’s cautionary opinions about his fitness because he does not want to rest during the matches. Currently, Chile fully depends on Sanchez to produce a win against Uruguay because even though they have clinched the past two Copa America titles, they are ranked fifth in the standings. Therefore, trouncing their bitter rivals at home is important because their next competitive match will be in March and any injury suffered by Sanchez would probably not affect them.
Such circumstances for Chile will have to push Chile national football coach Juan Antonio Pizzi to play Sanchez on Tuesday night. Their qualification for the World Cup could be at risk if they do not win over Uruguay, which means they could also lose financial rewards for the federation. Even though Arsenal pays Sanchez’s wages, the national side also needs his input and Wenger should live up to that fact unless the injury is declared too serious.
Besides, Wenger is arguable not an expert in managing players injuries as seen in December 2014 when he declared Sanchez to be in the red zone, but went ahead to feature him in 10 consecutive matches for six weeks. Furthermore, Wenger admitted that he forced Aaron Ramsey to play on their first match of the season against Liverpool, which led to the midfielder suffering a hamstring injury.
Arsenal fan have to cross their fingers that Sanchez returns to the Emirates on Saturday fully fit because if the half-fit Chilean plays well against Uruguay, he could be the main man against Manchester United. Sanchez has made 14 starts this season, scoring eight goals and five assists for his team. His absence could mean that Wenger would have to change the entire system because Arsenal have no replacement for the forward. Olivier Giroud’s inclusion as a center forward usually changes Arsenal’s attacking angles, thus Sanchez’s fitness is an added advantage against United. Conclusively, the Chile vs Uruguay game stands out as one of the most vital games for the Gunners this season.