If Unai Emery is thinking of playing Callum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac, as right and left backs for the Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace game at the Emirates on Sunday, I’ve one word of advice for him: ‘Dont !’
Emery can’t afford another shoddy performance with a host of bit part players in a crucial game. He needs his strongest side, even if they don’t play an entire 90 minutes but they must start.
Ceballos and Torreira must also start to provide creativity and cover to prevent another episode of the Wilfred Zaha show. Emery needs to be bold and brave and I expect Saka to hold his place on the left and Pepe will appear on the right, fresh from his Europa League success.
The Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace fixture obviously pits the two Ivory Coast internationals (Pepe & Zaha) against one another, with the added intrigue of Arsenal’s failed transfer bid for Zaha in the summer. All of which intensify’s the flavour of a potentially tight and feisty contest.
Palace are the banana skin they always were, busy trying to get points to avoid being sucked into a relegation dog fight and ending up mid table at best. That doesn’t dent their passion for gaining valuable scalps and if Arsenal look for gifts, they be best advised to wait until Christmas.
Roy Hodgson will field a difficult and determined side that will flood the space and apply pressure so that Arsenal can’t play their particular brand of fantasy football. Not that they have been recently.
Andros Townsend, James McArthur, Max Meyer, Jordan Ayew and Zaha ( if fit and selected ) will combine to push Arsenal all the way, but there’s no doubt where the main threat comes from.
Lacazette may have to remain on the bench, having looked a little short of fitness. Pepe could even pair up with Aubameyang up front but I’d plump for Aubameyang on his own, a midfield of four and Torreira just in front of the back four. This will just provide weight of numbers in defence and in attack.
Formation will be crucial for the Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace fixture and the right personnel could make all the difference. If all goes well, Arsenal could make changes with 20 minutes to go.
Arsenal have lost two of their last five meetings against Palace.
Palace are looking to secure back to back wins against the Gunners for the first time.
Arsenal haven’t lost a home game against the Eagles since October 2002.
Arsenal have never failed to score in 19 home league games against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace Score Prediction:
The Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace game should end with a 2-1 win in favour of the Gunners.
Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace Team Prediction
Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney, Torreira, Pepe, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Saka, Aubameyang.
Leno, Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka.