Surely the next fixture on the League calendar is the most special for Arsenal fans but forget the upcoming North London derby, Alexis Sanchez is looking forward to welcoming the Selecao to the Emirates in March in a friendly rematch of their Round-of-16 clash at the World Cup last year.
“I am so excited and honoured to be playing for the national team of Chile, against our greatest rivals Brazil, in front of the incredible Arsenal fans at the Emirates Stadium” Alexis said on Arsenal.com
“I also look forward to playing against my good friend Neymar and welcoming him and the rest of the Brazil team to Emirates Stadium in March”
“Matches between Brazil and Chile are always exciting encounters, and for me, to play this game at Emirates stadium will make the match even more special”
It goes without saying that Alexis has settled so wonderfully into his new London surroundings. Not only is he the topscorer of the Arsenal team with 18 in all competitions, his 14 goals at the Emirates is more than anyone has scored in total. He recently posted a picture of a top view of the Emirates Stadium with the tag “Home”, adding more to the perception that he could not be happier being at Arsenal, and he will look to show Neymar and co who’s the landlord when they come around in March.
The Emirates have regularly hosted the Brazilian teams in the past years but Alexis will be the one with the home advantage on his side this time. Revenge and reparation will also be on his mind when they match up as Chile were ousted at the Round-of-16 stage by Brazil via a penalty shootout in which he had missed their first penalty, though he scored a 32nd minute equalizer to David Luiz’s opener.
It could also be a hugely significant game for Arsenal new boy, Gabriel Paulista who is yet uncapped with the Selecao. He has had a very good season with Villareal until now and there will be 12 Arsenal games between now and then for him to convince Brazilian coach Dunga to hand him a first ever International call-up and cap.
The International friendlies will come between Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Newcastle and a potential top-four decider at home to Liverpool. The Champions League Round-of-16 double header would have been concluded and if Arsenal should get past Monaco, the friendly could be a dress rehearsal between Alexis and Neymar for a potential quarter-final clash.
Both players have been on fire this season, Neymar’s 22 goals 4 more than Alexis’ total and it should be an enjoyable game to watch with two of the world’s most entertaining players lighting up Europe’s most beautiful football theatre.
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