Arsenal v Crystal Palace: Premier League preview
Arsenal face Crystal Palace in a New Year’s Day London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners come into the match on the back of a nervy 1-0 win over West Brom. Olivier Giroud scored the winner late on in his first start of the Premier League season.
It was the first time Arsenal had kept a clean sheet in thirteen matches.
Crystal Palace drew 1-1 at Watford in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge at the club.
Yohan Cabaye opened the scoring but the Eagles were made to pay for Christian Benteke’s woeful penalty attempt in the first half.
Palace hover dangerously close to the relegation zone, looking to pick up their first win in five games.
Team news: Mustafi back
Crystal Palace could have as many as 10 players missing on Monday, while the Gunners could be without 9 first teamers.
Theo Walcott is likely to miss out once more due to an ongoing calf problem, as is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Alex Iwobi and Lucas Perez will battle it out for the right-wing spot. The latter impressed with a cameo performance off the substitutes’s bench last time out.
Wenger described Danny Welbeck as “fit and sharp,” but it’s unclear whether the ex-Man United forward will feature.
Kieran Gibbs is expected to be sidelined with a knee injury but Shkodran Mustafi will return to the Arsenal squad.
Mustafi’s return will be a welcome boost for the Gunners, who kept their first clean sheet in thirteen matches against West Brom.
All four of Arsenal’s defeats this season across all competitions have come when Mustafi has not played.
Damian Delaney is suspended after picking up his fifth caution of the season against Watford.
With James Tomkins already out, Zeki Fryers could partner Scott Dann in defence.
Joe Ledley and James McArthur both have doubts and remain doubtful.
The injuries to Allardyce’s side mean that Mathieu Flamini could face his former club.
Bakary Sako, Steve Mandanda and Loic Remy are all targeting mid-January comebacks.
Arsenal predicted line-up
Crystal Palace predicted line-up
101 Great Goals prediction
Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace