Arsenal's Arsene Wenger: Playing Alexis Sanchez in cups no punishment

Coach Arsene Wenger has watched his team win just two of their first five, leaving them well off the pace at an early stage. Wenger confirmed Alexis Sanchez is edging back to match fitness after his recent recovery from injury and declared the visitors will be hard to break down.

Regular readers will know that whenever I want West Brom to zig they tend to zag but some extended time to prepare for this game should at least mean they can make things testing so a narrow home win is the verdict with under 2.5 total goals scored.

Gilberto Silva is the only South American to reach a century of Premier League starts for Arsenal.

While Arsene Wenger has been speaking about the Champions League getting boring, he has also been speaking about Kieran Gibbs. I heard last week the Chelsea manager [Antono Conte] saying that.

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A year ago it was the Blues under their new manager Antonio Conte who were struggling and they slipped to a three goal deficit by halftime against a rampant Arsenal.

"I gave him a long holiday". The players are not in their ideas, they're not in the best form after important injuries. Although it was exasperating to see Sanchez sit on the bench for the Chelsea game last weekend, Conte made the same decision with Hazard, both of which were introduced in the second half to try and change the game. If you add the injury plus the rest time it was a bit long but against Doncaster, you could see that he is coming back sharp now.

He will surpass the record number of appearances set by former Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, and Barry has suggested that there could be more yet to come.

Sanchez has been benched for the two Premier League matches which followed the global break against Bournemouth and Chelsea but started the Europa League group stage clash against FC Koln and the Carabao Cup third round tie against League One Doncaster. That is why Wenger is bringing him along slowly, and while frustrating, that is why it is the right decision.

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