Arsenal are back in Premier League action on Monday Night Football as they travel across the Thames to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners’ 2023/24 campaign got off to a bright start on Matchday 1 against Nottingham Forest, although there would’ve been some internal concerns about their second-half showing which allowed the visitors a route back into the contest.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of positive signs for supporters on home soil, and Monday is another chance for Mikel Arteta’s side to lay down an early marker with Man City hosting Newcastle on Saturday night.
However, the injury sustained by Jurrien Timber put a major downer on their opening-day win, and there are questions over who’ll replace the Dutchman in Arteta’s starting XI.
Predicted Arsenal XI vs Crystal Palace
Here’s how Arsenal could line up away at Palace on Monday night.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – David Raya is here, folks, and Ramsdale will undoubtedly be feeling the heat. Let’s see how he responds.
Ben White (RB) – Arteta’s options suddenly look rather slim at right-back, and we’ll likely see White perform the role in which he excelled last season.
William Saliba (CB) – Deployed as the central centre-back last time out, a rejig to Arsenal’s shape should see Saliba partner a familiar face and return to his right-sided CB position.
Gabriel (CB) – The Brazilian was a surprise omission against Forest and although there have been murmurs of a move away, I don’t buy them for a second. Gabriel should come back into the team.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (LB) – With Timber out and a question mark still surrounding Oleksandr Zinchenko’s injury status, we’ll likely see Tomiyasu utilised at left-back. How much he inverts from the left is another matter.
Thomas Partey (DM) – He could be deployed in the hybrid role again, but I suspect Arteta might simplify things away from home and use Partey at the base of midfield with and without the ball.
Declan Rice (CM) – Rice has a big role to play on Monday. While he may be expected to affect proceedings higher up the pitch, his athleticism and recovery running will be pivotal in shunning Eberechi Eze in transition.
Martin Odegaard (CM) – It was a fairly quiet opening to the season for the skipper, but he’ll retain his place in the XI and will be looking to notch his first goal contribution of the campaign. Palace’s combative double pivot will try their utmost to disrupt him.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – The superstar winger kicked off 2022/23 in some style with a thunderbolt against Forest. He’ll be back wreaking havoc at Selhurst Park on Monday night, and his duel with Tyrick Mitchell will be an intriguing sub-plot.
Eddie Nketiah (ST) – He’s got to keep his place, right? The scorer of Arsenal’s first goal of 2023/24, Nketiah impressed on Matchday 1 after starring in the Emirates Cup. He’s enjoying a good bit of form, and I suspect Arteta retains his faith in the Englishman.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – Martinelli’s majestic first half last weekend sort of came out of nowhere following a mute pre-season. The Brazilian turned it on last time out, with his display likely condemning Leandro Trossard to the bench for a couple more weeks.