Arsene Wenger takes his side to a tricky away trip to Selhurt Park this Sunday, looking to get their Premier League campaign on the way after a disappointing opening fixture last week.
Alan Pardew who hasn’t beaten Arsenal in 7 league attempts, will be hoping to inflict more misery on the Gunners after grabbing all 3 points from their opening fixture, against newly promoted Norwich City.
Crystal Palace have no fresh injuries news to report, with former Gunner Marouane Chamakh still nursing a hamstring injury, and goalkeeper Julian Speroni still sidelined with a finger injury. Therefore Alex McCarthy is expected to retain his place in goal for this encounter.
Arsenal will welcome right-back Hector Bellerin back to the squad after missing out last week with a thigh strain, and the Gunners can also expect a fitter Alexis Sanchez this weekend. The Chilean Copa America hero came off the bench to try and inspire an Arsenal come back against West Ham, but was visibly off the pace.
Jack Wilshere’s troublesome ankle injury kept him out of action since the Community Shield victory over Chelsea earlier this month, but his recovery is going well and is on course to return within the predicted time frame of two weeks.
Tomas Rosicky and striker Danny Welbeck are nowhere near fitness however, with the former being sidelined for a further two months and the latter set to return after September’s international break.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech who endured a torrid Premier League début will retain his place between the sticks, and will definitely be gunning for a strong response against Palace, but Bellerin is likely to replace Mathieu Debuchy at right-back.
The Spaniard’s energy and pace was visibly missed after a poor showing from the Frenchman, who could be benched or excluded for Calum Chambers in the squad.
Last week’s performance will surely have had Wenger ponder hard about his midfield conundrum, with far too many creative midfielders being deployed in the similar positions. This weekend could see one midfielder dropped in favour of Theo Walcott to start out wide, after starting from the bench last week.
Having said that, Wenger is likely to drop either Cazorla or Ramsey but I doubt he’ll drop either. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud will remain in the side, but Alexis is likely to rested further by starting on the bench.
Crystal Palace: McCarthy, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Zaha, Cabaye, McArthur, Puncheon, Mutch, Murray
Bench: Hennessey, Mariappa, Kelly, Bolasie, Jedinak, Wickham, Campbell
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Bench: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Arteta, Walcott, Alexis