Unai Emery could retain the services of the in-form Alex Iwobi in attack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench as Arsenal take on Crystal Palace.
The Arsenal juggernaut had been missing for years. But, under Unai Emery, the Gunners don’t seem like stopping anytime soon, with 11 wins on the trot now after a narrow 1-0 victory over Sporting CP in the UEFA Europa League. As they prepare for Crystal Palace, Unai Emery has had some positive news come his way.
Petr Cech has been nursed back to full fitness after his hamstring injury and is in contention to start against Crystal Palace. Although, Bernd Leno would like to be the first-choice, Emery is likely to go with the veteran in goal. The defence itself is marred with injuries, with Laurent Koscielny, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal all sidelined for now.
Rob Holding has been immense while deputising in Koscielny’s absence and could start ahead of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, alongside Shkodran Mustafi, who has also improved his performances under Emery. Hector Bellerin is a certainty on the right. It is a toss-up between Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the left.
But, the veteran is likely to get the nod, with the youngster only recently returning to full fitness.
Lucas Torreira has made the holding midfield spot his own and should start alongside Granit Xhaka. Aaron Ramsey is likely to be on the bench again, especially with the form that Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil are in. The manager highlighted Ramsey’s contract situation in the pre-match conference ahead of the Crystal Palace game.
“Aaron and the club can speak and he can think for his individual contract with the club and with his thinking maybe of the possibility that he won’t continue here but, for me, for us and for the team, it’s about being together and getting better and in each training for us. ”
“I don’t know if he’s frustrated but [in my conversation] with him, we spoke two days ago, and he’s continuing with the focus and with his commitment with us, thinking for Arsenal.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have to make do with a place on the bench for now, with the attacking trio behind Alexandre Lacazette doing so well, and the Frenchman himself hitting top form.