As we headed towards the end of the busy festive football period, Arsenal were looking good, but also looking ahead to what appeared to be a tough run of games over the first month of the new calendar year. It is so far so good for the Gunners after winning all three matches following the disappointing Boxing Day loss away to Southampton but it does not get any easier from here.
In fact the next three games are possibly our toughest run of the season and that is why Arsenal were really banking on getting the Chile international forward Alexis Sanchez back from the injury list. Liverpool at Anfield and Stoke City at the Britannia are two of the toughest Premier League away days so the news reported by Arsenal.com that Alexis has suffered a setback to his recovery is a big blow.
Arsene Wenger revealed, “We think he will be short for Wednesday, he has a chance to be available for Sunday [against Stoke]. He is always keen to play. If you listen to Alexis, he can always play – even when he is injured. We try to be cautious. With a muscular injury you never know exactly how big the risk is but he is very close. If you look at him training he is very close.”
So he might well not be fit to face Stoke at the weekend and that makes the next two games a lot harder for Arsenal. But will this Sanchez setback prove to be a problem in our challenge for the Premier League title?