Chile’s talismanic forward Alexis Sanchez had picked up a few knocks from Thursday night’s match against Colombia, but coach Jorge Sampaoli seems to be quite unconcerned about that, as he announced that he may play the Arsenal FC man against Uruguay on Tuesday.
“Alexis had pain in his calf and we will wait for him until the last minute to see if he is ready to play,” Sampaoli was quoted as saying in FourFourTwo.
Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uruguay is an absolute six-pointer, as both the teams are separated by just one point with Chile occupying the second spot, and Uruguay occupying the third spot on the table. Thus, one can understand Sampaoli’s competitive sentiment, when he said that he might play Sanchez on Tuesday.
How will Arsene Wenger react to this?
We can sympathise as much as we want with Sampaoli’s situation, but one man who is sure to take a dim view of this is Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger, who has repeatedly reiterated the need to give Sanchez some much needed rest.
Sanchez did not have much of a break in the pre season as he was occupied with the Copa America, and had to be plunged straight back into action with Arsenal FC playing the Community Shield. In fact, it took Sanchez more than 300 minutes to find his scoring form at the start of the season.
The Chilean had managed to turn his fortunes around, but he seems to have been a little jaded over the past couple of matches, indicating that Wenger might need to give him a mid-season rest. Sanchez, has in fact, not scored in the last 270 minutes he has played for Arsenal FC.
Arsenal FC face West Bromwich Albion away this weekend, and Dinamo Zagreb at home next midweek in the Premier League and the Champions League, respectively. These are matches that they are expected to win. It would be interesting to see whether Wenger rests Sanchez in any of these games.