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Can Sanchez's Camp Nou return spark an upset?

Manchester United: Can Alexis Sanchez's Camp Nou return spark an unlikely upset?

April 15, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Chilean midfielder has gone back to his former grounds almost five years after his departure.

Alexis Sanchez could return to the Manchester United starting line up at Camp Nou following a lengthy spell on the sidelines recuperating an injury. The Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted at the Chilean winger possibly being given a run out at his old stomping grounds with his side aiming to defy the bookies against their Barcelona counterparts.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, the Norwegian manager said: "For him [Alexis Sanchez], who has been a player here, it is a big night and I am sure he will want to prove a point on the pitch.

"He has been injured and has not had a fantastic season so far, so let's hope that he can end it well because we're at the business end of the season now.

"We're playing games that United used to be in, playing for the top four and the Champions League semi-final: it used to be challenging for the league and the quarter-finals, semi-finals. Let's hope that, when he is on the pitch, he can be happy with his performance."

For Manchester United aficionados, the latter statement may probably come off as a mere gimmick considering what they have witnessed from Sanchez so far. It's been well over 16 months since the 30-year-old was made the English Premier League's highest-earner after ending a four-year stint with Arsenal.

However, not much has been seen from a player who cashes home almost £500,000 every week. Labeling his tally thus far as a meager return will be hyperbole with the ex-Barca star managing just five goals in 41 appearances since completing his switch to Manchester.

In candor, he could only shoulder part of the blame for his gross career tally as his spell with the Reds has been mostly plagued by recurrent injuries. Needless to say, there have been talks of an imminent summer exit for Alexis Sanchez but could his input at Camp Nou be the litmus test to salvage his foreseeable future?

The Catalans sacred coliseum is not an unfamiliar setting for the Chilean international who terrorized La Liga teams with pace and skill alongside the indomitable Lionel Messi between 2011 and 2014. All in all, the current Manchester United No. 7 amassed 47 goals in 141 appearances for the Camp Nou outfit, a feat that prompted and engineered a subsequent move to Arsenal.

Alexis might have lost the Midas touch which brought smiles to the faces of the Gunners in his earlier years but should one such performance be served on Wednesday night, then a stunning outcome could well and truly be on the cards. Also, he may just be returning from a long-term injury but stranger things have happened in football, right?!

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Barcelona 3 - 0 Manchester United

April 16, 2019 3:00pmCamp Nou (Barcelona)

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