Arsenal’s fantastic seven-match winning streak was brought to a halt by Southampton in midweek after the Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw by the Saints. Although the result meant that Arsenal lost grip of their hold at the summit of the Premier League table, Arsene Wenger would have perhaps been happy to earn a point from the game with Southampton having dominated for large parts of the clash at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Crystal Palace are the visitors to the Emirates on Sunday and Wenger will be desperate for all three points to avoid losing further ground to a rampaging Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. However, Palace have been reinvigorated under Tony Pulis and the Gunners cannot expect a stroll against z hard-working Eagles side who will surely make it tough for them.
Probable Arsenal Lineup Against Crystal Palace
Wojciech Szczesny has matured into a fine goalkeeper this season but the Polish international would have been disappointed at not preventing Jose Fonte’s effort in midweek. The goalkeeper is certain to start on Sunday and he will be hoping to get over his minor error against the Saints with a good performance.
Wenger could continue with the solid defence consisting of Nacho Monreal, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker once again but after seeing the Gunners’ backline let in two goals against the Saints, the French manager may consider giving either one or both among Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson a starting place at the full back positions. Tomas Vermaelen returned to the bench in midweek but with Kosicelny and Mertesacker performing so well, the Arsenal captain will again have to be content with a place on the sidelines.
The Arsenal midfield has been brought down to its bare bones due to various injuries and suspensions. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby are all ruled out of the clash due to injuries while Mathieu Flamini will be unavailable for selection after picking up a straight red-card against the Saints. Tomas Rosicky is recovering from a broken nose and is also a doubt.
Mikel Arteta and Mesut Ozil will probably start in midfield while Santi Cazorla could be pushed in-field to complete the midfield trio with Lukas Podolski probably taking the place of Cazorla on the left wing. Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be battling it out to win a place in the starting lineup on the wide right position.
Olivier Giroud will once again be leading the line on his own for the Gunners with the likes of Ozil, Cazorla and Podolski providing support to the Frenchman, while Nicklas Bendtner will be an option from the bench if things are not going according to plan for Wenger’s men.
Szczesny; Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Podolski, Cazorla, Arteta, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud