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Blow for Arsenal: two star players set to miss must win UCL clash

Arsenal set to be without Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla for the Champions League clash against Olympiakos nest week due to injuries.

Alexis Sanchez picked up a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw against Norwich on Sunday night, whereas midfielder Santi Cazorla sustained a knee injury in the same match.

Both of them are almost certain to miss out next Wednesday’s crunch trip in Champions League, where only win by two clear goals will guarantee Arsene Wenger’s troop a berth in the last 16. The injuries to Sanchez and Cazorla leave Arsenal without much of their attacking firepower when they enter the most important month of their season.

However, the Chilean striker also faces a tough test to be fully fit for the Arsenal’s busy festive period that includes a top-of-the-table clash against league leaders Manchester City.

Sanchez felt minor hamstring problem after the 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb last week but continued the training session on Friday and confirmed himself fully fit on Saturday ahead of the team’s flight to Norfolk.

He was declared fit to play by club’s medical team, although Wenger was well aware of the risk of Sanchez injuring himself again following his problems earlier in the week.

Sanchez after the Norwich match informed his boss that Sunday’s injury was just a kick on the hamstring but there were growing concerns over a strained muscle. The extent of the injury still not confirmed as the Chilean waits further tests today.

Cazorla was kicked on the knee by Gary O’Neil on Sunday and Wenger after the match described him as playing “on one leg” after the break at Carrow Road. The extent of the injury is still not clear but Arsenal manager has already declared him as unlikely to make the trip to Greece for the Champions League clash next week.

However Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs, all the three players could be fit for Saturday’s league clash against Sunderland at home.

Koscielny also left the pitch at Norwich with a hip injury but Wenger is hopeful the French centre back will return to training before the weekend. The Gunners are also optimistic about Walcott, who has missed a month due to a calf injury, as he might return to full training this week.

Against Norwich Aaron Ramsey played for 72 minutes following his one month absence with hamstring injury, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Ramsey who also returned after one month, and both of them should move smoothly into contention for starting place. Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are still out with injuries, along with midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin.

               

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