Alexis Sanchez has every intention of declaring himself fit to play against Manchester City next Monday despite still struggling with a hamstring injury, according to the Evening Standard.
Arsene Wenger told reporters after Sunday's victory over Aston Villa that the Chilean was facing a tough task to make the squad in what will be Arsenal's biggest game of the season so far.
But the Gunners boss is ready to give Sanchez as much time as possible to prove he is ready and will leave the final fitness test until the last possible minute. The fact the game has been moved to Monday evening gives the forward every chance of recovering in time.
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Although Arsenal and Man City both trail Leicester City, the game is considered to be the first significant indicator of who is stronger in the Premier League title race. If Arsenal win, they have every chance of being top of the table come Christmas Day.
As the team's most effective player, the return of Sanchez will come as a significant boost to the Gunners, but Wenger is wary of the risk that comes with playing him before he is ready.
The Frenchman was widely criticised after Sanchez sustained the injury against Norwich on November 29, with many pundits arguing he was in clear need of a rest.
What makes things harder is Sanchez's insatiable appetite to play in the game. He will try his best to convince Wenger he is ready even if he isn't 100%. Indeed, he had told Wenger something similar prior to the game against Norwich.
However, the early signs in training have been encouraging and the temptation to play him in such a high-stakes game will be strong. As it stands, it looks like Sanchez will be lining up against the Citizens.