Saka, Smith Rowe start
Arsenal are in a situation in which they must win their final two games of the Premier League season, to have any hope whatsoever of reaching the European qualification spots for next season.
Much will depend on the results secured by Spurs and West Ham who, should they win their respective games, will give the Gunners no hope of overtaking them on the final day.
Arsenal, unsurprisingly, have gone with a very strong line-up.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the line, with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe behind.
Mohamed Elneny keeps his place after a man of the match performance against Chelsea, whilst Calum Chambers starts at right-back with Hector Bellerin out injured.
Kieran Tierney starts, to the delight of Scottish supporters after his recent injury scare, with Gabriel and Rob Holding partnered in front of Bernd Leno, recently called up to Germany’s European Championships squad.
🚨 TEAM NEWS IS IN…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 19, 2021
Hodgson’s last home game
It does seem fitting that there will be fans at Selhurst Park to witness the last game overseen by Roy Hodgson at the ground.
The former England, Liverpool, Fulham and West Brom manager will leave the club at the end of the season, after many successful seasons with the Eagles.
He has kept Palace in the Premier League, and even pushed them into an established mid-table position. Few could argue that he has not achieved what he was employed to do.
Whilst tonight’s game has little incentive competitively for Palace, putting on a show for their fans and honouring Hodgson will of course be a target in itself.
Wilfried Zaha, linked with Arsenal in the past, will want to put himself in the shop window, should a big summer move become available.
Meanwhile, Eberechi Eze will miss out, with the former QPR and Arsenal man facing a long spell on the sidelines with an Achilles injury.
EXCL: Eberechi Ezi has suffered a serious Achilles injury that could rule him out well into next season. Occurred in training & 22yo Crystal Palace player seeing specialist to ascertain extent of damage + next steps. W/ @domfifield for @TheAthleticUK #CPFC https://t.co/RaeXRfVTcU
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) May 19, 2021
Hodgson has selected Jeffrey Schlupp to replace Eze, with Zaha, Christian Benteke and and Andros Townsend in attack.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 19, 2021
The game is set to kick off at 7pm this evening.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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