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Chiles-forward-Alexis-Sanches-prepares.jpg

Sanchez facing year-long season as he prepares for Confederations Cup final

Date Posted,June 29, 2017

Alexis Sanchez is facing the first year-long season because of football’s crazy ­calendar.

Sanchez will play in Sunday’s ­Confederations Cup final while some of his Arsenal team-mates ­report back to training on Monday.

The madness of the never-ending season ahead of next year’s World Cup finals is in danger of pushing players over the edge as they face potential burn-out in the biggest year of their careers.

Manchester City’s Chile keeper Claudio Bravo, Arsenal’s Spain Under-21 full-back Hector Bellerin, Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi and England’s Under-21 ­contingent have also all been in ­action this week.

Sanchez in Chile training (Photo: AFP)
He has fired his country to the Confederations Cup final (Photo: EPA)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously insisted on giving players a four-week break after insisting it is “compulsory” under FIFA rules.

But they told Mirror Sport: “There is no such FIFA rule.”

It is believed it is discretionary as to whether clubs give the players time off but it is likely to cause chaos with pre-season ­training and the start of the ­campaign.

Arsenal are ­expected to give Sanchez and ­Bellerin four weeks off and neither are likely to be ready for the start of the Premier League on August 12, let alone the ­Community Shield on August 6.

Sanchez and Chile are bidding for glory against Germany on Sunday (Photo: EPA)

It is also bad for Southampton as Cedric Soares played for Portugal in the Confederations Cup while James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond and Jack Stephens were in ­England’s U-21 squad.

Everton new boy Sandro Ramirez will also be excused reporting up for training on Monday, having played for Spain U-21 in Poland.

City’s new signing Bernardo Silva has been on duty for Portugal while Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has also been in Russia for the ­Confederations Cup.

The Premier League ­season is due to finish next May 13 but the World Cup runs from June 14-July 15.

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Most top clubs are also going on lavish pre-season tours.

Arsenal are going to Australia and China, Liverpool go to the Far East, Manchester United start in the United States on July 15 and then go to Oslo, Dublin and play Real Madrid in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 8 with the season kick-off just four days later.

It is likely their opening game with West Ham will be pushed back 24 hours for TV but also to ease the pressure on their schedule.

But it feels like Jose Mourinho has only just finished moaning about last season’s fixture backlog and we are starting all over again.

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