The Gunners made a dismal start to the season, losing their first three games without scoring a goal. However, they have bounced back strongly with three successive wins and a 0-0 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion to move up to 11th.
The match will witness the return of club legend Patrick Vieira, who currently holds the reins at Crystal Palace. Vieira’s stint at Selhurst Park has not gotten off to a great start, with the Frenchman overseeing just one win in seven league games thus far.
However, a win against Arsenal will be just the tonic Vieira and Palace need to kick-start their campaign. The last time these two sides met, Nicolas Pepe struck either side of a Gabriel Martinelli goal to guide the Gunners to a 3-1 win in the penultimate game of the 2020-21 season.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal will once again be without midfielder Granit Xhaka, who is out until at least December after injuring his knee in the 3-1 derby win against Tottenham Hotspur. Apart from the Switzerland international, Mikel Arteta has a full squad to choose from.
PREDICTED ARSENAL LINEUP vs CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1)
Aaron Ramsdale has displaced Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s first-choice keeper following his arrival this summer. The England keeper has kept five clean sheets in six games for the Gunners in all competitions, conceding just one goal.
Mikel Arteta is unlikely to tinker with what appears to be a settled back-four at last. Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu will slot in at left and right-back respectively, while Gabriel and Ben White will feature in the centre of the defence.
Tomiyasu had a poor game against Brighton and will be looking to bounce back with a strong display against the Eagles.
With Xhaka out, Albert Sambi Lokonga is expected to partner Thomas Partey in the middle of the park. Lokonga and Partey struggled to deal with the Brighton press last time out, but they should be in for a much easier outing against Palace. Alternatively, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be handed a rare start in place of Lokonga.
Martin Odegaard will continue in his No. 10 role. The Norwegian will be tasked with unlocking the Palace backline with his creativity and vision.
Arteta opted to bench record signing Nicolas Pepe for the games against Brighton and Spurs, but the Ivorian is in contention to return to the side, possibly in place of Bukayo Saka on the right flank. Pepe scored for Ivory Coast during the international break, boosting his chances of a return to the starting lineup.
Emile Smith Rowe was one of Arsenal’s best players in the stalemate at Brighton and he should retain his spot on the left flank.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will lead the line for the Gunners once again. The Gabon international has struggled for form this season but he will fancy his chances of getting on the score-sheet against a Palace defence that’s conceded 11 goals already.