Injury boost for Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez to return against Stoke

Sankha Ghosh / 14 January 2016

Arsenal may welcome their star attacker Alexis Sanchez back to the team when they face Stoke City this weekend as the Chilean is expected to go through a late fitness test on Saturday.

Sanchez has been sidelined for more than a month with a hamstring injury he suffered against Norwich City last November and now Arsene Wenger has confirmed that there is a good chance for the 27-year-old forward to finally make his long-awaited return, as the league leaders entering the most important part of the season.

If the Chilean returns to action this weekend then the Gunners’ injury list will be down to five, with Tomas Rosicky all set to make a comeback after joining the first team training. Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere still remain the major absentees and they will possibly start making their much-anticipated return near the end of this month.

“He will have a definite test on Saturday. It’s not impossible that he plays,” Wenger said when asked about Sanchez’s availability for the Stoke Match.

Arsenal have also completed a deal for Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel while Arsene Wenger confirmed that a formal announcement will be made later and the Egypt international might feature for their trip to the Britannia stadium. 

The 23-year-old midfielder has been highly linked with a potential move to the Emirates since last month, but work permit and Visa problems delayed the signing.

Elneny will certainly give a back-up option for Coquelin, who still needs some time to make a return to the first team. The France international ruptured his knee ligaments against West Bromwich Albion back in November and was expected at least a 12-week lay-off. Wenger, however, confirmed that Coquelin is well on course for his return and should be available next month, hopefully right in time for their tough double-header against Barcelona in Champions League.

The Gunners will need more energy in midfield area when they face Stoke, particularly after a gruelling performance in the Anfield draw. The Reds took the lead twice in the first half, but Arsenal fought back quite well to draw level at the break and snatch the lead thanks to Olivier Giroud in the second half. However, a 90th-minute equaliser from substitute Joe Allen broke the Arsenal fan’s hearts.

However, the Gunners managed to hold on to their position on the league summit because of goal difference, after Leicester City’s victory against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

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