Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez out, will miss North London derby vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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Arsenal will be without their main man for the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online Live Extra).

The Gunners’ top goalscorer Alexis Sanchez is still struggling with a hamstring injury as he missed Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Aston Villa last Sunday.

[ PHOTO: Wilshere smoking again? ]

Sanchez, 26, has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season as the Chilean international has scored 12 and compiled seven assists.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirmed Sanchez will miss the huge derby.

“Alexis is not ready,” Wenger confirmed. “He is not far away, the Leicester game (on Tuesday) is a possibility. He is of course very difficult to keep quiet! He is training but it’s light training.”

How big of a blow is this for the Gunners?

Pretty huge. The sight of Sanchez lining up against Spurs at White Hart Lane would have struck fear into the hearts of most Tottenham fans but now he’s out of the picture, Arsenal’s chances of beating their fierce rivals has undoubtedly taken a hit.

Going into the derby Arsenal sit in fifth place on 42 points, while Spurs are just one place and two points behind them as the race for the top four continues to intensify.

Would Sanchez have been the difference between the two resurgent outfits on Saturday? We’ll never know…