Crystal Palace VS Arsenal Preview: Arteta’s Unpredictability

Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday night with a win needed to build momentum and cohesion.

Most people could name the Arsenal starting eleven that challenged for the title unexpectedly last season. Ultimately, a lack of depth and variety proved their undoing in the run-in.

Mikel Arteta has addressed this in the transfer market and is in the process of implementing new ways to play. As a result, the Arsenal line up is harder to predict this season.


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Crystal Palace away is a tough game, especially for the Gunners. Every win at Selhurst Park is a hard-fought one for the North London outfit.

With the additions of Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, Arsenal have four players for three central midfield places. You would think that Odegaard and Partey are still guaranteed starters.

It depends on what kind of approach Arteta wants to take. A combination of Partey and Rice must be appealing for a tough away game. That also gives him the option of starting Havertz as the number nine in the absence of Gabriel Jesus.

He also has Eddie Nketiah, who scored last weekend and Leandro Trossard who facilitates his teammates well in that role. 

There’s also a question of what Arteta does with his defense. Against Nottingham Forest, Gabriel started from the bench for the first time in 73 Premier League games. Arteta said it was a tactical decision, perhaps for the sake of developing a game plan that doesn’t rely on the Brazilian.


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If Gabriel returns, Ben White will move back to the right side of the defense and the left back spot is up for grabs. With Jurrien Timber out for the season and Zinchenko still working his way to full fitness, it’s unknown who will get the nod.

One of Tomiyasu, Kiwior or Zinchenko could start in the inverted left back role. Zinchenko is the more offensive option, while Tomiyasu in particular provides solidity. Kiwior is still an unproven quantity in the role and the team in general.

Having so many options at their disposal is positive for Arsenal going forward. However, they need to balance finding the best way to play while still getting results. We’ll see how well they walk that tightrope against Crystal Palace.