But having drawn to Liverpool in midweek 3-3, this upcoming game against Mark Hughes’ side has even more significance, and a game that could tell us whether Arsenal are seriously up for the Premier League title this season.
The former Barcelona forward has been out of action for the past six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, but is now back in full training and understood to want to be a part of the squad that travels to Stoke.
Wenger said on Sanchez’s fitness:
‘He (Sanchez) is available for selection, I haven’t decided yet. I have to see how everyone has recovered. Apparently we have no injuries form the Liverpool game, so he is a possibility to be in the squad for Sunday.
‘The other question mark is about Alexis, he has two decisive days – today and tomorrow. he is fit, has worked very hard and the decision we have to take is whether to take a gamble or not on his injury.’
On his day, Sanchez is arguably one of Arsenal best players and, prior to his injury, was a consistent performer for the Gunners, netting nine goals in 19 total appearances so far this season.
But the potential decision to play Sanchez after no action in six weeks against a team like Stoke might be the wrong one to take, and could result in the forward possibly missing the business end of the season.
The stoke game is a massive one. A win at the Britannia will give the squad and fans huge belief that they can in fact win the title this season.
But should Wenger take a gamble and play Sanchez against the Potters?
I believe the Chile international should be in the squad, but not in the starting line-up. Keep him on the bench and if he is needed then bring him on. 15-20 minutes of action would suffice. We can’t afford for him to pick up another lengthy injury if we are to win the title this season.