Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that forward Alexis Sanchez will sit out Tuesday’s final Champions League group game against Galatasaray.
The Chilean has been in sparkling form since signing for the Gunners in the summer in a £32million deal from Barcelona. The World Cup star netted his 14th goal of the current campaign in Wednesday’s last gasp 1-0 victory over Southampton at the Emirates.
That match was the former Udinese player’s 27th for his new club and with the season about to enter one of its busiest and most congested period’s, Gunners boss Wenger has decided to rest his prize asset for Tuesday’s final group game, preferring to prioritise the domestic schedule in a group the north Londoners have already sealed qualification from.
The 65-year-old said: “I will have to give him a week’s break at some stage, yes, to give him a breather. He will not go to Turkey.”
The game in Istanbul is not completely insignificant for the English side. The 13-time English champions still have faint hopes of topping Group D, but it would take an unlikely chain of events.
The 2006 Champions League finalists would have to win in Turkey and hope that Anderlecht can do them an unlikely favour and beat group leaders Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
It is clearly an unlikely task with the FA Cup holders on offer at 10.00 to finish above their German counterparts.
A victory against the Turks does seem more favoured for the side that were eliminated in the first knockout round last season as they are currently priced at 2.14, with the hosts at 3.03 and the draw at 3.30.