Arsenal have had a bit of a wait between fixtures, after playing on the Saturday (2nd October) before the international break, and not returning until the Monday (18th October) after it.
For those not on international duty in between, you’d hope that’s given them some time to reflect on the draw with Brighton, and to figure out what they’re going to do differently to return to winning ways against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal have had a rough recent run against Palace at home. After Palace’s initial return to the Premier League in 2013, Arsenal won four of the first five fixtures between the two at home. They’ve since lost one and drawn two of the last three.
That means the Gunners haven’t won this fixture since Arsene Wenger’s departure, and Mikel Arteta will hope to pick a team to change that next Monday. Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Crystal Palace.
Aaron Ramsdale now has four clean sheets in five games since joining Arsenal, and he only conceded one goal in the fifth. He made a vital interception to stop Neal Maupay against Brighton, and it seems unlikely he loses his place for now.
As with the goalkeeper position, there seems little reason to mess with a formula that’s working at the back for Arsenal. Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, and Takehiro Tomiyasu should all start the match.
The only question marks will be whether Tierney and Tomiyasu come back from international duty healthy and ready to go again on Monday.
If not, Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares are the two most likely to come in. But for now, there are no reports of any injury problems for Tierney or Tomiyasu.
With Granit Xhaka out, Arsenal remain somewhat limited in their options in midfield. Thomas Partey is likely to start, as is Martin Odegaard, and Albert Sambi Lokonga will probably keep his place from the last fixture.
But after Arsenal had so much trouble in possession against Brighton, it’s not impossible Arteta starts to look at other midfield options.
The Arsenal boss could give a game to Ainsley Maitland-Niles, or Mohamed Elneny, or change the formation to shift Emile Smith Rowe into midfield as one of two advanced midfielders ahead of Partey.
Our prediction is that he sticks with the midfield three he went with against Brighton. It was their very first time starting a match together, we shouldn’t write the trio off that quickly.
There’s a little bit of doubt over Nicolas Pepe’s situation at the time of writing, after he was excluded from Ivory Coast’s first match of the international break. He was called up by his country but didn’t make the squad on the day, suggesting some sort of problem.
That only makes it seem more likely that Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang keep their places in the front three.
It might seem strange to name an unchanged side from the one that struggled against Brighton, but it’s worth bearing in mind just how young this side is – with an average age of 24.1.
They’re going to be inconsistent, they’re going to have bad games, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the correct lineup moving forward.