Arsenal limp towards the finish line with only two league games remaining. Tonight Arsenal pay a visit to Crystal Palace before bringing down the curtains on a disappointing Premier League campaign by hosting Brighton on the final day of the season.
The Gunners have absolutely nothing to play for apart from pride, something that they haven’t exactly been capable of for the majority of this Premier League campaign. For fans returning to their football families, the opportunity to attend stadiums is the only thing worth celebrating as they plan to meet up before and after the games to share their passion for the club.
It’s quite interesting that Arsenal’s last two games provide opposition that normally causes them multiple headaches at the most basic levels of the game. The willingness of Crystal Palace and Brighton to battle for every ball and point is well documented even though neither have anything worthy to achieve.
Crystal Palace will certainly want to wave goodbye to Roy Hodgson in a way that is befitting his steady tenure and Arsenal could find that sort of emotion hard to negate. Under normal circumstances, Mikel Arteta would give the kids a run-out but the Spaniard has been under the microscope and I suppose every point justifies his continued employment, even if it’s not guaranteed in the long term.
I expect a strong Arsenal side with perhaps the odd curveball, but please…no more Nketiah just to bump the price up in the summer. It seems like the new fad these days to play individuals to increase their value even if there’s no gain in the here and now.
The questions for me are all about upfront, will Pepe or Martinelli get a run-out? Does Arteta go with Lacazette or Aubameyang? The rest of the side should be fairly predictable under the circumstances. We will probably be waving a fond farewell to Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard in the next two games as well as watching a handful of players who aren’t aware that they’re surplus to requirements.
I’d settle for a 2-0 win or even a narrow 1-0, but I expect Palace to have other ideas, they usually offer up a fight to the final whistle. If Crystal Palace get the bit between their teeth, Arsenal could be in for a torturous 90 minutes and again, this will very much depend on Arsenal’s approach to the game.
If Tierney is fit, then Saka needs to go back on the right at the top of the pitch. I expect Partey and Xhaka to be in the middle and I’d add ESR and Odegaard to the team sheet.
Predicted Arsenal Starting Team:
Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;
Saka, Aubameyang, Pepe.
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