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Arsenal team news update: Attacker ruled out, quartet to return + Ozil latest

By on October 25, 2019

 

Reiss Nelson Arsenal

Arsenal have virtually a fully fit squad to choose from as Unai Emery prepares to welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

After seeing a number of players return to fitness in recent weeks, Reiss Nelson is now Arsenal’s only absentee with the attacker ruled out until November with a knee ligament injury.

The boss made wholesale changes for Thursday night’s Europa League victory over Vitoria so we should expect to see a number of key players recalled in the Premier League this weekend.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of the squad completely in Europe so the Gabon international is certain to be recalled on Sunday after a well-earned rest. Alexandre Lacazette looked rusty against Vitoria having recently recovered from an ankle injury so he’s likely to drop to the bench with Auba starting up front.

Sokratis and David Luiz were also both rested on Thursday night so despite many fans calling for Rob Holding to keep his place, I expect Sokratis and Luiz to line-up against Palace this weekend.

Granit Xhaka was left out of the squad against Vitoria and while I’d happily see that continue on Sunday, the Swiss international is certain to be recalled by Emery to take his place in the heart of midfield.

Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney both started in the Europa League as they continue to build-up their match fitness following lengthy injuries and I’d personally love to see them keep their places against Palace. They aren’t up to full speed just yet but even at 50% they are easily our best full-backs. However, Emery is expected to recall Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac after they were named on the bench on Thursday.

nicolas pepe arsenal

Nicolas Pepe is set to come into the starting eleven following his heroics off the bench against Vitoria. The Ivorian scored two stunning late free-kicks to turn things around for Arsenal so hopefully he can build on that superb performance.

Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, Bernd Leno and Bukayo Saka are also expected to be recalled after being named on the bench against Vitoria so we could see Emery making 11 changes against Palace this weekend.

The one big talking point surrounding the club right now is Mesut Ozil and his continued exclusion from Emery’s squad. It’s clear the pair are at odds with each other and we saw footage of them involved in a tense debate in training this week.

The situation is damaging for Arsenal as we desperately need Ozil’s creativity in the squad right now but it’s obvious Emery is digging his heels in so I don’t expect to see Mesut against Palace on Sunday. Let’s hope things are resolved soon as there are no winners in this mess.

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