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Wenger Backs Messi For Ballon D’Or, Rules Sanchez Out Of Liverpool Clash

 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled Alexis Sanchez out of Wednesday's away trip to Liverpool in the Premier League.
Sanchez has been out since picking up a hamstring against Norwich. But the Chilean is back in training.
In his pre-match press conference, Wenger who however disclosed that the former Barcelona player could make his long awaited return against Stoke on Sunday.


He also revealed that Mezut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini will be available, while David Ospina will have a test on his injury.

"Ozil and Flamini will be available. Ospina faces tests after not being available on Saturday. Liverpool will come too soon for Alexis Sanchez but he may be back for Stoke.
“He’s always keen to play but if you listen to Alexis, he’s always keen to play even when injured.
“We try to be cautious, but with a muscular injury you never know how big the risk is.[But) he’s very very close."

Ahead of Wednesday's game, Wenger stated that his team will be ready for the pressing game that will be implored by Liverpool, but predicted a tough encounter despite Liverpool's injury woes.

“We are used to that pressing, it’s not only he who does that. Lots of teams do that. I think pressing has been created in England as a history of teams have done that. It’s part of the modern game to make quick decisions, to be short with your first touch and play your game.”

“Its always a ferocious battle no matter who is manager. They had a good manager before, they have a good manager now.
"Klopp has the personality to do well. I don’t think you can explain the injuries of the players by the intensity of the game. It’s difficult to assess as I don’t know everything. Sometimes you’re hit at the moment without doing much different."

Wenger expressed optimism that Arsenal should finalize the signing of Egyptian international Mohammed Elneny this week.
“I think this week we are positive it can happen. We hope we can finalize it this week. As long as it’s not definitely signed, you have to be cautious. But I’m optimistic.”

And ahead of the Ballon d'Or, the French tactician picked Lionel Messi to succeed Cristiano Ronaldo despite having his reservations about the award.

"I’m a big enemy of the Ballon d’Or. It is certainly Messi who will win it. Although I’m not a big fan of it. It has to be a Barcelona player, when you pick a Barcelona player, it is certainly Messi.”
 

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