Home Match Day Ozil and Koscielny start, 3-4-2-1: Strongest Arsenal XI to face Crystal Palace

Ozil and Koscielny start, 3-4-2-1: Strongest Arsenal XI to face Crystal Palace


Arsenal will look to claim their first league victory of 2018 when they host London rivals Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.

The North London side suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth last weekend, but Arsene Wenger will expect a much-better performance with a number of first-team regulars back after their respective injury setbacks.

Formation: 3-4-2-1


Petr Cech did not have the best of games against Bournemouth last weekend, but judging by Arsene Wenger’s selection policy, the 35-year-old should in goal for the Eagles game.

In central defence, the likes of Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny should return after recovering from their respective injuries, and they could be partnered by Germany international Shkodran Mustafi.

At right wing-back, Hector Bellerin is the undisputed choice, and he has been in good form of late with goals versus Chelsea and Bournemouth.

In the opposite side, Sead Kolasinac could return for his first game of 2018 with Ainsley Maitland-Niles down with a virus.

In midfield, Aaron Ramsey is a tempting prospect to start, but Wenger could leave him on the bench to allow Jack Wilshere prosper alongside Granit Xhaka at the centre of the park.

Further forward, Mesut Ozil is likely to make his comeback after a knee complaint, and he could be partnered by Danny Welbeck amid the uncertainty surrounding Alexis Sanchez’s future.

Arsene Wenger has suggested that Sanchez could take part versus Palace, if he is still at the club, but the Chilean could make the bench at best with the manager not wanting any distraction during the match.

Alexandre Lacazette has gone since his effort versus Manchester United in early December, and he will be hoping for better luck in front of goal, having missed a few clear-cut chances of late.

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