Bellerin Returns! Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Team News & Likely Line-Ups


Team News

Arsenal have been handed a massive boost ahead of the trip across London, with the news that Hector Bellerin and Jack Wilshere will both be returning- although the latter is unlikely to make the starting line-up.

The Gunners are still without midfielders Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey though, whilst Mathieu Debuchy will also miss out due to his injury.

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Crystal Palace are without injured duo Jerome Thomas and Lee Chung-Young, whilst Yaya Sanogo is unable to play against his parent side.

Shola Ameobi is also unavailable, whilst former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh faces a late test along with James McArthur and Mile Jedinak.

Likely Line-Ups

David Ospina is expected to return in goal in place of Wojciech Szczesny, who featured in last week’s FA Cup victory, as the Colombian is currently the favoured number one at the club. That’s unlikely to change, although Ospina could be rested ahead of the Champions League this week.

In front of Ospina will likely be the best back-line Arsenal can put out and arguably the strongest in their squad, minus Mathieu Debuchy. Hector Bellerin will return and play on the right, with the in-form Nacho Monreal playing on the opposite side.

In the middle, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will partner each other, which means that Gabriel Paulista will drop to the bench after making his debut against Middlesbrough last weekend.

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Francis Coquelin will also return to the side and will likely be partnered by Santi Cazorla, who will adopt a deeper role due to there absences of Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta, whilst Jack Wilshere is not fit enough to start a game just yet.

That will allow Mesut Ozil to play in his favoured number ten role in the middle of an attacking trio, supported by Alexis Sanchez on the left and Theo Walcott on his right- creating a frightening front line.

Up front, in-form Olivier Giroud will lead the attack after his brace in the FA Cup last week. The Frenchman is in great form and will look to continue in a similar fashion.

Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud

Crystal Palace will have first-choice stopper Julian Speroni in goal, behind a back-line that consists of Pape Souare, Brede Hangeland, Scott Dann and Joel Ward.

The four-man midfield put out by the home side is expected to feature Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley, Jason Puncheon and James McArthur- if the latter is passed fit.

Former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh will play as the deeper of two forwards, should he pass a late test, behind Fraizer Campbell.

Palace XI: Speroni, Souare, Hangeland, Dann, Ward, Bolasie, Ledley, McArthur, Puncheon, Chamakh, Campbell

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