Manager Arsene Wenger says striker Alexis Sanchez is in danger of burnout. The Chile forward has been Arsenal’s best player this season, scoring 14 goals in 22 matches in his first year at the London club. But Wenger says he is “in the red zone” in terms of his fitness after playing in all but one of the team’s games this season. Sanchez, who joined from Barcelona in July, has also been playing for Chile, increasing his workload. Wenger said: “Unfortunately, you never know how far you can push. We’re not scientific enough to predict that completely, but he has great recovery potential.” Arsenal travel to Stoke City today.
The manager Sam Allardyce may live to regret signing Andy Carroll over in-form Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony when the east London side host the Welsh club tomorrow. Allardyce said that high-flying West Ham, fifth in the table with 24 points from their opening 14 games, bid for Ivory Coast international Bony in 2013 while he was playing for Dutch team Vitesse Arnhem. The manager choose to sign Carroll, in a £15 million (Dh86.4m) deal from Liverpool, instead. Bony has struck six league goals this season to follow an impressive 16 goal-haul in the previous campaign, while Carroll has struggled with injury since his move, making just 19 league appearances in two years and scoring twice. “It was a case of one or the other. We couldn’t do both [deals] with the budget we had,” Allardyce said. “It’ll be very difficult to contain him [Bony], because he’s in such good form. We’ll have to limit the supply into him. It’ll be a good test for our lads to play against a player who’s in such good form.”
Brendan Rodgers said Liverpool hit rock bottom last month, but he is confident that surviving the tumultuous period will strengthen his players. Rodgers’s side lost three successive Premier League matches for the first time in his two-and-a-half-year reign as a nightmare run threatened to ruin the season. But Liverpool responded with a 2-2 Uefa Champions League draw against Bulgarian side Ludogorets and recorded league wins over Stoke and Leicester City. “We were at a low, as everyone saw,” Rodgers said. “We had set such high standards here over the past couple of years and we had fallen way below that.” Liverpool now face a defining month as they look to make up ground with the visit of Sunderland today, before matches against Manchester United and Arsenal. They also face Swiss side Basel, knowing a victory is required to reach the last 16 of the Champions League next week.