Alexis Sanchez insists he still has great affection for Arsenal and happy memories of beating Spurs, ahead of their match against Marseille.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League group is on a knife edge, with any of the four clubs capable of qualifying for the knockout stages or exiting the competition on Tuesday night.
With only two points between Marseille in fourth and Spurs in first, there are plenty of permutations for each team to qualify in the top spot or as a runner-up. But Marseille’s job is simple – they must beat Spurs.
If Marseille draw, they’ll finish behind Spurs and they’ll also guarantee finishing behind at least one of Sporting CP and Eintracht Frankfurt, who play each other.
At best, a draw might get them into the Europa League, if Frankfurt beat Sporting. But clearly, Marseille need to go for the win.
The good news for Marseille is that if they do win, they’ll guarantee qualification to the knockouts.
Marseille have the home advantage, and they also have the bonus of four former or current Arsenal players in their squad, well versed in facing Spurs. Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, and loanee Nuno Tavares could all be involved.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Sanchez admitted Tuesday’s game is bringing back a lot of old memories.
“I have great affection for Arsenal from my time there,” Sanchez said.
“I have great memories with everyone at the club, especially the fans. Beating Spurs every time was a great joy. It was very special and those are memories that I hold dear to my heart.”
Sanchez has faced Spurs with three different clubs already – Udinese, Arsenal, and Manchester United. He’s been on the winning side four times, the losing side three times, and he’s featured in four draws, scoring three goals.
Unfortunately for the Chilean, he missed the reverse fixture for Marseille against Spurs due to a red-card suspension.
But he’s back available and in good form now, with six goals in 14 games this season, already just three goals short of his season tally for Inter Milan in 2021/22.
Despite some recent animosity between Arsenal fans and Sanchez and Guendouzi, Tuesday night will be one time they’re all on the same page.