Saturday 24 March 2018

Wenger fears injury as Sanchez set to play in Argentina clash

Chile's Alexis Sanchez taking a break during a training session. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Chile's Alexis Sanchez taking a break during a training session. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Wilson

Alexis Sánchez will start for Chile in their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay tonight despite suffering a hamstring injury that has left Arsène Wenger worrying about a potentially "suicidal" decision for him to play.

Arsenal even asked to see the results of Sánchez's scan last week after it was confirmed that their star striker had suffered what was called a "low grade tear" but Chile are now adamant that he is fully fit.

Sánchez trained with heavy strapping on his upper leg on Sunday and manager Juan Antonio Pizzi says that he is not taking a gamble with the 27-year-old's health.

"Sánchez is one hundred percent. He's trained well. At no time have we received pressure from any club. Not Arsenal or Bayern (Arturo Vidal's club). The health of the players is paramount, we are very responsible. We do not risk to anyone."

It will still leave Arsenal anxiously awaiting news of Sánchez's fitness tomorrow morning when their striker is due to fly back from South America to link up with his Arsenal team-mates ahead of Saturday's lunchtime kick-off against Manchester United.

Wenger is already without key first-team players in Hector Bellerín, while Santi Cazorla is doubtful, leaving the Gunners manager fearful of a repeat of last season, when he made the mistake of playing Sánchez against Norwich City when he had a tight hamstring.

Sánchez was duly ruled out for two months and Wenger knows that he is a player who is willing to start even when injured.

The striker has played 50 or more games in each of the past three seasons and has not missed a single Premier League or Champions League match so far in this campaign.

Laurent Koscielny is likely to be rested for France's friendly against the Ivory Coast tonight ahead of Arsenal's attempt to record a first Premier League win against Jose Mourinho. © Daily Telegraph, London

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