Arsene Wenger revealed this morning that Alexis Sanchez is fighting to get back to fitness from his abdominal strain which he picked up towards the end of the summer and may not quite be ready for the physicality of a visit to Stoke City this weekend (i.e. he doesn’t want his legs broken).

He said Sanchez is working hard (as always – just the 12 marathons this week) but they are being cautious and would hope to have him back for the Liverpool game next weekend.

In better news, Per Mertesacker and Shkodran Mustafi are both fit and in contention, while Laurent Koscielny will finalise his three game ban, meaning he will also be back for the Liverpool game which takes place on the 27th of September at Anfield (KO 4pm).

Francis Coquelin is back in the squad, and Jack Wilshere, despite turning out for the U23s in the week remains short of games according to the manager.

If we can get all three points away at Stoke, the Liverpool clash should be a cracker with everyone back and fit (with the exception of Santi Cazorla) and raring to go.

Europa League fixture nightmare