Opinion: Alexis Sanchez must start against Manchester United, despite injury concerns

Opinion: Alexis Sanchez must start against Manchester United, despite injury concerns

Despite injury concerns the Chilean forward must take to the pitch if Arsenal are to have any chance of claiming three points this Saturday.

Lewis Downes

Arsenal versus Manchester United is one of the biggest fixtures in English football.

The rivalry between the two clubs throughout the years has laid host to some of the most memorable footballers and player bust-up's. The battles between Gunners legend Patrick Vieira and midfield battle-axe Roy Keane left a lasting impression on fans, as did the wounds either player inflicted upon the other.

Despite regulations tightening in regards to the formality of tackling, the fixture still maintains its passion.

This Saturday, Arsenal will be hoping to extend their 16 game unbeaten run, whereas a convincing win could see Manchester United move into the top four.

The Gunners currently sit two points off top spot thanks to the performances of fan favourite Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has adopted a new role this season under Arsene Wenger, seeing the ex-Barcelona star play as a central striker rather than out wide. His ability to read the game, manoeuvre the ball and find a finish means he is probably Wenger’s most important asset.

Is Sanchez’s commitment to be admired or criticised?  

Currently, Sanchez has notched six goals to his league tally making him the clubs top goalscorer and the deciding factor in many close games.

Despite injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s clash the 27-year-old featured in Chile’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay in the international break. The player scored twice in the World Cup Qualifier and was substituted after he completed 84 minutes on the pitch.

Sanchez prior to this display suffered a thigh injury in training with his national side, which meant he missed their other scheduled fixture against Columbia last week.

Many an Arsenal fan was expecting the player to return for treatment in North London but he remained in South America much to their dismay.

Wenger will not be a happy bunny

Arsene Wenger will be holding his breath hoping that Sanchez has not inflamed his injury by playing for Chile, and that he can feature this weekend against United.

November has always been a tricky month for the Arsenal boss as his side tends to be plagued with injuries. This time last campaign the squad was stretched thin with eight absentees, a contributing factor to The Gunners losing the league title.

The Arsenal boss will be hoping to ruffle the feathers of his managerial counterpart Jose Mourinho, who has previously threatened to 'break Arsene Wenger's face'.

Nonetheless, it is pivotal Alexis Sanchez takes to the field this weekend at Old Trafford, as the Chilean gives Wenger the best opportunity to go one better, and break Mourinho’s heart.