Chambers starts as Emery makes 11 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Palace
Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Arsenal get back to Premier League action when they take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez will have been disappointed to concede twice against Vitoria on Thursday night but he’s set to drop out with Bernd Leno being recalled between the sticks on Sunday.
Defence: Emery gave Hector Bellerin another start in the Europa League and the Spaniard put-in a decent shift. It’s still going to take some time for him to get back to his best and the Arsenal coaches won’t want to risk Bellerin playing a second game in four days so I expect Calum Chambers to return at right-back.
Kieran Tierney also made another start against Vitoria and set-up the first Arsenal goal with a terrific cross. I’d like him to keep his place against Palace but the Scottish international finished the game with cramp on Thursday so I expect Emery to recall Sead Kolasinac this weekend.
Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi were given a tough time by a very average Vitoria outfit so I don’t see either keeping their places on Sunday with Sokratis and David Luiz being recalled against Palace.
Midfield: The Arsenal midfield was poor in the first half against Vitoria and I think it’s safe to say Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock won’t be keeping their places after being hauled off at the break on Thursday night.
Granit Xhaka is certain to be recalled on Sunday while Matteo Guendouzi will also come back into the side after making a great impact off the bench against Vitoria. Dani Ceballos is also expected to be recalled with Lucas Torreira making way after he failed to take his opportunity in the Europa League.
Attack: Mesut Ozil was once again frozen out of the Arsenal squad by Emery on Thursday night so it’s unlikely he’ll be recalled this weekend while Reiss Nelson remains out with a knee injury.
Alexandre Lacazette made his first start on Thursday since recovering from an ankle injury but he looked rusty so I expect him to drop to the bench against Palace with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang recalled up front.
Gabriel Martinelli got another goal in the Europa League but I think Emery will want fresh legs on Sunday so Bukayo Saka is expected to come back into the Arsenal attack against Palace.
Nicolas Pepe made a huge impact off the bench against Vitoria as he scored two stunning late free-kicks to seal a dramatic 3-2 victory so the Ivorian is certain to be recalled this weekend. Let’s hope the brace boosts his confidence and we start to see the best of Pepe from now on.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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