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Preview: Arsenal v Palace, team news, line-up & prediction
It’s time for Arsenal to respond following last weeks defeat to West Ham when we take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon.
The loss last Sunday was a real disappointment and it’s already got us playing catch up. It should have been a routine three points but we blew it.
We can ill afford another loss today but the good news is Arsene Wenger has never lost consecutive opening games in a Premier League season during his entire Arsenal career, so I’m expecting a response from the boys today.
Palace isn’t going to be easy though. Alan Pardew is building a decent side down at Selhurst Park and Yohan Cabaye will be an excellent signing for them.
Alexis Sanchez is pushing for a start after getting a full weeks training under his belt but I still think it’s a little too early for him.
Hector Bellerin is likely to come back into the starting eleven after recovering from the knock that kept him out last week with Mathieu Debuchy set to drop out.
Jack Wilshere is back in training following his ankle problem but he’s not ready to return just yet. Danny Welbeck is still three weeks away from a return to fitness while Tomas Rosicky is out for the long term.
Former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh is unlikely to feature for Palace due to injury while Julian Speroni is also out.
The big dilemma for Arsene is how to get Coquelin, Cazorla and Ramsey into the same team. He put Santi out on the left last week but it didn’t work for me. The Spaniard was excellent alongside Coquelin during the second half of last season and I don’t think we should break up that partnership just yet.
So unfortunately, I think we have to leave Rambo out, at least for this game. I’m not a fan of him out wide either as it unbalances the team. We need to play the players in their proper positions and not try to show-horn them into a formation so Arsene needs to take a brave decision and drop one of Cazorla or Ramsey, and for me the Welshman should miss out.
I’d also go with Gibbs over Monreal at left-back. Nacho was badly at fault for the first goal last week and I’d like to see Gibbs given more first team game time.
Petr Cech will continue in goal despite his disappointing competitive debut last week. He’s a world class keeper and I fully expect him to show it today.
This would be my team:
In reality, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene sticks with Cazorla on the left and brings Theo in for The Ox on the right. Monreal is also likely to keep his place.
This won’t be an easy game but we do have an excellent record against Palace having not lost a competitive game to them in 21 years. Obviously records are there to be broken but I think we’ll sneak this one today by the odd goal. Palace 1-2 Arsenal
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