Arsene Wenger expects Alexis Sanchez to be fit for Arsenal's Premier League showdown with Manchester City. Sanchez suffered a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw with Norwich City on 29 November and has missed the club's last three games.

The Gunners will be without Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck for the visit of Manuel Pellegrini's side on Monday 21 December but the Chile international, who scored in the same fixture last season, is likely to be in contention.

"[There is] a slight chance for Sanchez to be in the game. He is running," Wenger told a press conference.

Wenger initially said Sanchez was a doubt for the City game but admitted the player' determination to return ahead of schedule could change those plans.

"It's a big game, we want to win and beat City at home. It will be an interesting one but we at least can recover first and have eight days to prepare," the Arsenal manager said, as quoted by the Telegraph. "The closest player to have a chance [of being fit] is Sanchez but my medical people think he won't be ready. Sanchez being Sanchez, though, you never know."

Sanchez will soon be joined by Welbeck who remains on course to return to action in January. The Mirror claimed this week the former Manchester United forward had suffered a setback having undergone knee surgery in September. The Evening Standard suggest however that is not the case and claim Welbeck will return to the first team next month.