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Arsenal vs Crystal Palace preview | Confirmed team news, Tierney to start + prediction

By on October 27, 2019

kieran tierney arsenal

Arsenal need a win to stay in touch with the top four of the Premier League table when we take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates this afternoon.

Our shock 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United last Monday has turned much of the fan-base against Unai Emery with growing numbers of supporters believing he is no longer the right man to take Arsenal forward.

The football has been poor for much of the season, we don’t seem to have any sort of game-plan and at times it looks like the players aren’t playing for the manager anymore. Emery continues to play players out of position, he hasn’t resolved our defensive issues and his treatment of Mesut Ozil hasn’t gone down too well either.

Arsenal were fortunate to escape another humiliating result in the Europa League on Thursday night as Nicolas Pepe scored two stunning late free-kicks to seal a 3-2 comeback win over Vitoria but the result has just papered over the cracks.

Things aren’t right at Arsenal at the moment and the heat is certainly on Emery so the Spaniard desperately needs a convincing win, and performance, against Crystal Palace this afternoon.

Team news

The good news is Arsenal have virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from as Reiss Nelson is our only confirmed absentee. The attacker is still out with a knee ligament injury that’s expected to keep him on the sidelines until next month.

Alexandre Lacazette made his first start in seven weeks on Thursday night but he looked rusty so is expected to drop to the bench today with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang recalled up front after being rested in Europe.

nicolas pepe arsenal

Emery will make plenty of changes to his team after resting several key men in midweek with the likes of Bernd Leno, Sokratis, David Luiz, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Pepe also being recalled to the starting eleven.

As for Palace, they’ll welcome Vicente Guaita back from a groin injury and Martin Kelly is expected to return to the squad but Mamadou Sakho and Connor Wickham remain on the sidelines.

Preferred line-up

No doubt Emery will bring Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers into the defence this afternoon but I think Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney should keep their places. They may not be 100% fit just yet but they are easily our best full-backs and we desperately need a win so let’s play our best players.

As I’ve said several times, Arsenal are a better team without Xhaka so I’d love to see Lucas Torreira in the holding role. Emery insists on playing him further forward and it’s simply not getting the best out of the South American.

Ozil continues to be frozen out of the squad and Emery appeared to suggest in the media today that it’s a decision taken in agreement with the clubs hierarchy. It’s a strange decision if true as there is no way Arsenal are better off without Ozil in the squad. Even having him on the bench would benefit us as we desperately need some creativity in the side.

This would be my line-up today:

football formations

Palace XI: Guaita, van Aanholt, Cahill, Tomkins, Ward, Milivojevic, McArthur, Kouyate, Schlupp, Zaha, Ayew

Prediction

Arsenal have struggled against Palace at times in recent years as we’ve lost two of the last five meetings. The Eagles sit just one place and one point behind Arsenal in the table following an excellent start to the season so this is going to be a tough game. The pressure is on Emery to get a result as we’re currently five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea so we risk being cut off if we fail to beat Palace this afternoon.

I’m certainly not expecting a vintage display from us as our performances have been woeful lately and gone are the days of watching Arsenal playing free-flowing, attacking football. However, hopefully we have just enough to edge past Palace. I’m going for a narrow win.

Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace

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