Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend against the second-to-bottom Crystal Palace who have struggled to create and keep out the goals this season.
The midweek loss to Borussia Dortmund left Wilshere in doubt for Saturday’s fixture, Wenger has released his team news and has stated the Englishman will undergo a late fitness test. Regardless of whether he is fit or not it seems unlikely he will start.
The Gunners have a Capital One Cup tie with Chelsea on the horizon next week before Liverpool come to town, not to mention a trip to Germany prior to an Old Trafford visit. No wonder they’re calling it The Dirty Dozen-Days arrghh.
Wenger will rotate for the Chelsea tie, there is no doubting that and significantly too. Because of this we may see a slight change in the regular backline this weekend. Either Mertesacker or Koscielny will need to play against the Blues, meaning one of the established duo could be afforded a rest this weekend to allow captain Thomas Vermaelen to come in prior to his inevitable Capital One Cup inclusion.
In midfield Flamini will almost certainly return and hopefully he will try (not that he will need to) pick up a yellow card so he serves his suspension for the Cup match on Tuesday. As mentioned earlier, Wilshere will most likely be benched if fit to allow Cazorla to occupy the left wing. The Spaniard only played a half-hour against Dortmund and is a certainty to start.
Either Ramsey or Arteta will partner Flamini in the more box-to-box role with Ozil sitting in behind Olivier Giroud. Ramsey could be afforded a proper rest after only sitting out 30 odd minutes against Norwich, but it seems unlikely with the form he’s in. Ozil produces a little doubt after his sickness leading up to the Dortmund match, however it appears he remains in contention to play from the get go. Tomas Rosicky will quite likely start again on the right flank, however I wouldn’t mind seeing Serge Gnabry have a crack at the leaky Palace defence..
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen (c) Gibbs
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen (c) Monreal
What are your thoughts Gooners? Got any other suggestions? Comment below with your ideas..