Liverpool boost as five star Arsenal men in line to miss season opener - reports
By Dominic Toner
Alexis Sanchez could be the latest Arsenal player to miss the season opener against Liverpool, according to a report.
The influential Chilean forward sustained an ankle injury in the Copa America final victory over Argentina.
The Mail Online report that Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Sanchez and fear he will not be fit for the start of the season, despite receiving treatment during the break on the injury.
Arsenal are already facing the possibility not having Aaron Ramsey for the first game of the season, following his key role with Wales at Euro 2016.
Fellow team-mates Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mezut Ozil may also be absent from the game if manager Arsene Wenger opts to ease players back in who have had a busy summer at the Euros.
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The trio are not to scheduled to begin pre-season with the club until 8 August which is just a week before the match with Liverpool at the Emirates.
The last time the sides met in the league was back in January in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield in which Ramsey and Giroud (two) goals cancelled out a Firmino brace, only for Joe Allen to snatch a 90th minute equaliser.
Sanchez would undoubtably though be a huge miss for the game after he scored 17 goals in all competitions last season for Arsenal.
The forward has enjoyed a prolific first season when he scored 25 goals and was named the club’s Player of the season for 2014/15.
With the former Barcelona man likely to be sidelined the responsibility could fall on Theo Walcott to lead the line in the first game of the season.
In other Arsenal news, their London rivals have agreed a fee for the Gunners’ transfer target.