Arsenal will look to maintain their Premier League challenge when they take on Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners have had a few hiccups in December, and this has seen them fall further from the summit. Arsene Wenger’s side are currently nine points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, and they would be hoping to go on a long winning streak in order to have any chance of ending their Premier League drought.
Petr Cech clinched his first clean sheet in more than 10 games against West Bromwich Albion on Monday. He will once again retain the number one role.
The defence has been lacking the presence of Shkodran Mustafi in the past few outings. The German has recently overcome his hamstring problem and resumed full training, but it is yet to be seen whether he would be partnered alongside Laurent Koscielny in central defence. Arsene Wenger rarely takes a risk with his players and this could see Gabriel retain his spot.
Hector Bellerin will take up the right-back position as usual with Nacho Monreal on the left side of the defence. Monreal was dropped in
Monreal was dropped in favor of Kieran Gibbs in the hard-fought win over the Baggies, but there could be a change in personnel with the latter having picked up a knock.
Wenger has opted to play Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin in the heart of the midfield, and this has kept Mohamed Elneny warming the bench. The Egyptian international is expected to participate in the African Cup of Nations in January, and this has urged the manager to cement a bond between Xhaka and Coquelin.
The Egyptian international is expected to participate in the African Cup of Nations in January, and this has urged the manager to cement a bond between Xhaka and Coquelin.
Moving forward, Mesut Ozil will take up the advanced number ’10’ role with Alex Iwobi on the right whilst Alexis Sanchez will occupy the left side of the attack.
Olivier Giroud netted the winner in his first league start of the season against the Baggies, and he could be expected to lead the line for the North London side once more.
Possible Arsenal XI: Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, Hector Bellerin, Xhaka, Francis Coquelin, Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud
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