LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Chile striker Alexis Sanchez will be back in the Arsenal squad for Tuesday’s Premier League game against bottom club Leicester City as Arsene Wenger’s team look to bounce back immediately from their derby defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.
Sanchez, who has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season, missed the 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane on Saturday and the previous week’s 5-0 win over Aston Villa due to a hamstring injury.
“Sanchez will be back in the group,” Wenger told reporters on Monday. “He is our best goalscorer and one of our hardest working players in the team. It’s good to have him back.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, will be out for another two weeks and Wenger had no date for the return of Jack Wilshere, who was photographed last week holding a shisha pipe in a London nightclub.
Leicester, who have not won at Arsenal since 1973, have lost on their last seven league visits to the red half of north London, and will be looking for the kind of upset they inflicted on Spurs when they visited them two weeks ago.
Leicester beat Spurs 2-1 in the FA Cup with two late goals at White Hart Lane and will need that kind of resilience against an Arsenal side who had won five successive matches in all competitions before the loss at Tottenham.
“We had a very strong run before Saturday so we just want to continue that. We need to respond strongly,” Wenger said.
“We have to deal with our performances. The criticism is always there. You focus on how your team in a position to respond well and quickly. This is a very important period.”
Arsenal slipped back to sixth after Saturday, one place and one point behind Spurs, while Leicester are bottom and four points from safety.
Leicester will have manager Nigel Pearson in charge after the Foxes issued a statement on Sunday that reports he had been sacked were “inaccurate and without foundation”.
Pearson became involved in a touchline squabble with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat after the player accidentally crashed into the Leicester manager.
Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond