By Editor Wayne Veysey
Arsenal are confident Alexis Sanchez has emerged unscathed from the international break and will feature against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, Football Insider sources understand.
Sanchez joined up with the Chile squad despite suffering from a minor groin injury in the wake of the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Manchester United 10 days ago.
The wide forward played the full 90 minutes in each of Chile’s World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Peru. He maintained his excellent recent form by scoring in the 2-0 win over Brazil and adding a double in the 4-3 triumph over Peru.
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Despite being pictured with a coating of warming salve over his upper leg and groin as Chile celebrated the Peru win, Sanchez has told Arsenal’s medics he is in good condition ahead of Saturday evening’s clash against Watford.
The 26-year-old will be assessed by club staff when he returns to training on Thursday but the club are confident he will be available to maintain his outstanding run. Sanchez has scored nine goals in his last five matches for club and country.
Chile manager Sampaoli admitted last week that he had gambled with Sanchez’s fitness ahead of their win over Brazil. He said: “Alexis arrived not at his top form, with pain in the adductor (muscle). He couldn’t play at 100 percent, but we thought that him not playing would give too much advantage to our rivals, because his presence in our team makes things difficult for our opponents.”
In other Arsenal news, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Football Insider’s exclusive on Tuesday, which revealed that Laurent Koscielny was ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and that he was targeting a shock comeback against Bayern Munich in the Champions League next Tuesday.
Speaking today, Wenger said: “Koscielny has a slight chance to be back on Saturday. He has a definite test tomorrow.”