Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace this Saturday for what promises to be a challenging tie, with Arsene Wenger once again locking horns with new Eagle’s boss Alan Pardew.
The Gunners are likely to make a number of changes after their convincing 2-0 FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough last weekend, with David Ospina set to replace Wojciech Szczesny between the sticks, as well as a few changes at the back.
After an encouraging display against Boro, Calum Chambers looks set to start again at right-back – with doubts over Hector Bellerin’s fitness, and Mathieu Debuchy still sidelined. Nacho Monreal seems to have become first choice on the left, and should keep his spot despite a spirited attacking display from Kieran Gibbs at the weekend. Gabriel enjoyed a decent debut, which crucially enabled Per Mertesacker a well earned rest. The giant German will likely slot straight back into the lineup alongside Laurent Koscielny against Palace however.
Slightly further forward we will see the return of Francis Coquelin at the expense of Mathieu Flamini. Jack Wilshere is fit and available, but this shouldn’t influence Wenger’s decision given the lethal combination play of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Özil in midfield. The duo were fantastic playing centrally together, with the Spaniard dropping deeper than usual and showing plenty of dynamism. Why change a winning formula?
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We will likely see Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez on either flank, with Olivier Giroud spearheading the attack. Wenger seems reluctant to start Theo Walcott at times, and with an attack minded central midfield pairing perhaps Wenger will look for someone who retains possession better like Welbeck.
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