By Alex Taylor

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes that Arsenal will not win the Premier League this season by playing Alexis Sanchez as their main striker.

The forward is expected to lead the line for the Gunners against Liverpool this Sunday in the absence of Olivier Giroud.

The France international is set to miss the Premier League opener after his late return to pre-season training following his exertions for the Euro 2016 runners-up.

“If Giroud does not play this week and Sanchez has to play up front, well, I mean Sanchez is top-drawer, there is no doubt about it,” Merson told Sky Sports. “But will he win you the Premier League playing up front?  No, no he won’t.”

“I think they’re still short of a top-drawer centre-forward. If Giroud gets injured, you are talking about Sanchez coming in. They are going to struggle and it’s very rare a team wins anything with no more than one centre-forward.”

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Sanchez has been used almost exclusively on the flanks since his 2014 arrival from Barcelona and has been a huge success with 42 goals and 23 assists in all competitions.

The Chilean forward enjoyed a prolific season last term in north London too, scoring 17 times and supplying a further 11 assists.

In other Arsenal team news, Sadio Mane could be the difference between a win or a loss for Liverpool as they face Arsenal in their Premier League season opener on Sunday.