Arsenal follow up their 4-0 win over Crystal palace with a Monday clash with the resurgent Crystal Palace. Palace have won four of their last five Premier League games and with Arsenal still trying to find their feet again, this could well turn out to be a very tough game for the Gunners.
Cech, Ospina, Perez and Koscielny are all expected to miss the game, so here is our predicted lineup, in a 4-3-3 formation.
GK: Emiliano Martinez
With Petr Cech and David Ospina both out, Emiliano Martinez should take his between the posts on Monday night. He had a solid game on Wednesday and will need to be at his best on Crystal Palace, especially with a team that will likely threaten Arsenal aerially.
RB: Hector Bellerin
The Spaniard has looked shaky in recent games but considering the replacements, he’s set to start once again. He’ll need to improve on his final ball though, as his crosses were a big disappointment in recent weeks.
CB: Shkodran Mustafi
The German is going through a tough spell at the moment but his quality is still undeniable and with Koscielny likely to miss tomorrow’s game, he will need to be at his best.
While Gabriel has been shaky at best for most of this season when he has played, against Manchester City and West Ham, Gabriel showed some serious improvement. The Brazilian was much more assured than he has been this season, against Crystal Palace he will have a fight on his hands against Christian Benteke.
LB: Nacho Monreal
Arsenal will need to strengthen in this position this summer but for now, Nacho should get the nod ahead of Gibbs, as per most of the season so far. He’ll need to shut down the crosses to starve Benteke’s service.
CDM: Granit Xhaka
The Gunners’ best player against West Ham, he is a definite starter in the team in the absence of Cazorla, a key player linking defence and attack, especially when played in a 4-3-3.
CM: Mesut Ozil
The German looked much more like his usual self in a three-man midfield. By dropping back into midfield, Ozil is now able to feed the forwards rather than being on the receiving end. Considering how well the midfield played, it would be lunacy to switch it back.
CM: Mohamed Elneny
Criminally underused and very underrated, Mohamed Elneny has been left out for most of the season but his quality in midfield was there for all to see on Wednesday night. Elneny gives Arsenal create balance in midfield in combination with Xhaka and Ozil. Granit Xhaka likes to dictate from deep while Ozil needs to be given license to pass forward, Elneny is the man who gives Arsenal energy and dynamism – he must start.
RW: Theo Walcott
Walcott racked up his 10th league goal of the season on Wednesday night and will likely start once again. Walcott has been in and out of form over the last few weeks but his work rate has been brilliant. While at times, Alexis Sanchez seems to jog back to help out, Walcott always retreats to help Bellerin. With Danny Welbeck still working his way back to his best, Walcott’s goals are invaluable.
ST: Danny Welbeck
It’s quite possible that a third start in just over a week, might be too much for Welbeck but Arsene Wenger should keep him in the team on Monday. Welbeck offers something in between Sanchez and Giroud; excellent work rate and incredible physical attributes. Let’s hope he can get on the scoresheet tomorrow.
LW: Alexis Sanchez
He could well shift inside but considering how well Arsenal played on Wednesday, Arsenal should stick to the same team tomorrow. Alexis has been Arsenal’s best player this season and barring any overplaying from the Chilean he should be primed and ready to help Arsenal push for the top four.
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