Following their hard-fought 1-0 win over Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup, Arsenal will turn their attention back to the Premier League as they are scheduled to make a trip to the Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Gunners have seen a drastic attitude change since Mikel Arteta’s arrival and other than the first 45 minutes against Leeds, have resembled more of what the fans will expect their side to look like hereon in.
However, they are nine points adrift of the fourth place in the standings and have a lot of ground to make to get a Champions League spot which will be at the back of Arteta’s mind.
Arsenal Team News
Calum Chambers ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee while playing against Chelsea last month. He had successful surgery in London but is ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Hector Bellerin was not risked against Leeds United and despite returning to partial training, is still not fit for selection. Dani Ceballos is also fit to feature against Roy Hodgson’s troops.
Rob Holding returned to the starting lineup against the Whites, playing the entire game, and should feature in the squad on Saturday.
However, Kieran Tierney dislocated his shoulder last month and is aiming for a return to full training in March.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup vs Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1)
Bernd Leno has been one of the best performers for the north London based outfit this season. The German is the first-choice custodian for the club and is set to start in goal once again.
In the central defence, Sokratis and David Luiz could be chalked by Arteta. Both of them fared well in the 2-0 win over Manchester United at the start of the year and will attempt to keep another clean sheet against a decent Palace side.
Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are expected to start as the fullbacks in the Arsenal lineup. The latter impressed against the Red Devils, making 3 tackles and completing 2 dribbles over the 90 minutes.
Lucas Torreira brings a lot of bite to the central midfield as he does the dirty work for Arteta’s side. His absence was clearly felt against Leeds United and the Uruguayan international will return to the Arsenal lineup.
Alongside Torreira, Granit Xhaka could be given the nod to feature in the double pivot.
Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil is set to start as the central attacking midfielder and he will look to continue his pre-Leeds form against the Eagles.
Alexandre Lacazette has scored just 5 goals in 14 league appearances so far. Although opportunities have come at a premium for him, a player of his calibre will be expected to regain his form sooner rather than later.
While Nicolas Pepe could start on the right-wing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to start from the opposite flank after overcoming a minor bug which had kept him out on Monday.
Pepe got on the scoresheet against Manchester United and will be keen to cement his place in the Arsenal lineup.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored