After making hard work of beating Newcastle in the FA Cup third round last weekend, Arsenal return to Premier League action on Thursday night as they take on Crystal Palace.
The Gunners appear to be on somewhat of a roll, rattling off four successive victories in all competitions since they were thrashed 4-1 at home by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Mikel Arteta’s side however, have struggled against Palace in their recent meetings, with no wins in their last four games against the Eagles. However, with the wind firmly in their sails, and with key players coming back from injury and offering greater options to the manager, Arsenal should feel confident about picking up yet another three points.
And with that in mind, below is a look at how the Gunners might line up for the visit of Roy Hodgson’s side.
In goal, Bernd Leno will undoubtedly keep his place in between the sticks, and he proved his worth once again by making a superb last minute save at the feet of Andy Carroll to deny Newcastle a shock winner last time out.
Both Pablo Mari and Kieran Tierney are likely to keep their places, even despite Gabriel making his return to the first-team squad in recent days. However, David Luiz and Cedric should make way for Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, respectively.
The midfield area should also see significant changes, with Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock dropping out, and Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos coming in – the duo of course started the 4-0 demolition job of West Brom in the Gunners’ last Premier League outing.
Arsenal’s senior stars once again disappointed last Saturday, with Nicolas Pepe and Willian being eventually substituted before they watched young first-team stars Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe play an important part in the opening goal for the north London side.
Such has been Saka’s impressive form – the £36m-rated starlet has scored two goals and provided one assist on his last three top-flight games – there should be no question that Pepe will drop to the bench in favour of the England international.
Saka is likely to be joined in that attacking trio by Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.
Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette.