Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes the real test is yet to come for Alexis Sanchez, when the Gunners travel to face Chelsea on Sunday, rather than tonight’s Europa League clash with FC Koln.
The former Arsenal striker says Alexis will start tonight alongside Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, but feels the real test of his character and ability will be when the Gunners entertain the defending champions on the weekend, reports Sky Sports.
In my opinion, the Gunners are big favourites to come out on top against FC Koln, which would boost confidence ahead of their tricky league outing to come.
Nicholas was pleased to see Arsenal bounce back against the Cherries and believes Alexis’ bright cameo will see him start tonight.
“Arsenal were actually much better without the ball against Bournemouth, showing a willingness to put in the hard yards to win back possession after a half-hearted effort at Liverpool,” he said.
“I think Arsene Wenger will play Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. I thought the response of the crowd was quite positive to Alexis coming on and he just needs to show he’s willing to work.
“I’m obviously quite negative about the Chelsea game in what is going to be a fantastic Super Sunday. That’s where the desire will really be tested. The manager makes it too easy for them and they need to build up some real fight for that game.
“I’d like to see them come out of the blocks quick and put in a really ruthless display. I’m going for Arsenal to continue their so-called rebuilding with a victory and to start feeling better about themselves going into what is going to a dramatic and demanding Sunday.”
Given Arsenal have lost two of their last three Premier League games ahead of their trip to face Chelsea, defeat to Antonio Conte’s side could be fatal on Sunday.
While only four points adrift of top spot in the table, another loss would leave Arsene Wenger’s men some distance away in the title race already, and the backlash from supporters could be the worst it’s ever been, in my opinion.
Alexis has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to ensure Arsenal can get a result at the Bridge.