Let’s Show the Spuds The Arsenal: Six Team Changes v Crystal Palace to Go Third in PL


Four of Arsenal

We have seven more games to play in all competitions between now and 12th May when the premiership season ends. That’s approximately a game every three days. OGAAT (one game at a time) isn’t sustainable any more. It is now all about players rotation to keep fresh the legs and keep players away from the red zone. Would we then again see Aubamayang and Lacazette together in our starting line up this season? Maybe in the Europa cup final if we get there. Maybe I said this because with Emery one can never tell.

Meanwhile the premiership teams that we still have to face have each four or five more games left. That’s a huge advantage for them over us apart from the fact that in this month of April we have already played five games while for example our today’s opponent Palace have played only twice. They would be much fresher and further away from the red zone than us. However, Palace and co. are not the crucial things.

Having more bearing to our fortune is the fact that three out of our four immediate competitors in the Premiership and Europa are in the same boat with us with seven games each over the same period: Tottenham, Chelsea and Valencia. Manchester United, out of the Champions League, have two fewer games to play but I do not envy their schedule which includes Everton at Goodison today and City and Chelsea at home, this Wednesday and Sunday respectively.

How would Emery navigate through this most grueling schedule? Let us start the first trip, destination unknown.

GOALKEEPER: Leno in goal for sure.

DEFENCE: Our first choice 3-man central defence is Sokratis, Koscielny and Monreal. Each time they played together our defending has held well. Sokratis would be serving the last of his two match ban. Koscielny and Monreal both have just been through three 90 minutes of football in one week. Both need to be rested but I doubt we would be able to afford that. A defensive line that includes all or any three of Mustafi, Mavropanos, Lichsteiner and Kolasinac would be poor in progressing the ball forward and defensively they might be prone to lapses. One of Koscielny and Monreal has to be played.

MIDFIELD: Ramsey is out injured. Available are Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi and Elneny. Torreira played the 90 minutes on Thursday. I expect him to be rested with Xhaka and Guendouzi starting.

FRONT PLAYERS: Ozil would be back. Aubamayang needs some resting and so should start on the bench. That would mean Lacazette leading the line. The third attacking player would be a toss between Mkhitaryan and Iwobi.

My predicted line up:

~~~M Ozil~~~~Lacazette~~~Mhkitaryan~

With six changes plus the fact that Lacazette and Xhaka were substituted early against Napoli means that enough fresh legs in the team is guaranteed. Remember we will play Wolves on Wednesday and Leicester on Sunday, both away. Phew!

Bench: Cech, Mavropanos, Jenkinson, Elneny, Torreira, Iwobi, Aubamayang.

Crystal Palace lead the league in the number of goals earned through penalties @ 10 goals. 45% (highest in the league) of their attack comes from the left field. Who is at the centre of these stats? Wilfried Zaha. Shackle him and shackle Palace.

As a side show we are going for a record 11th consecutive home win. In the the main show, the Spuds lost yesterday so if we beat Palace we leap frog them into 3rd place on the table.



31 thoughts on “Let’s Show the Spuds The Arsenal: Six Team Changes v Crystal Palace to Go Third in PL

  • Excellent stuff, PE. Really good to point out the number of games we have to play and how relatively well-rested our opponents will be. This is a very big game for us. A London derby against a team with players who want to play well and have nothing to lose, is not going to be easy. We have to be wary of conceding early and having to fight an uphill battle after that for which we surely do not have the legs. So I cannot live with your starting line-up: no Koz and no Torreira would make our defensive shield too weak imho. I also expect Iwobi to start so we can match Zaha’s ability top make things work in attack. Palace are set up well defensively so we need a player who can get to the by-line with the ball at his feet.

    My 11:
    Must – Mavro – Koz – Kola
    ——- Tor – Xhaka ———
    ———– Ozil —————
    Mkhi —- Laca —– Iwobi

    Happy to see Guendouzi get a start for either Xhaka or Torreira as to add a little B2B connectivity, but I was really hoping Suarez would be available for this one… I feel if we play the above line-up our defenders will not have too much to do, which is another way of keeping them fresh; whereas if we start with your predicted line-up we should expect an intense, all over the pitch performance, possibly leading to more injuries.

  • I am wary of the fact CP beat MC away and drew with Manure away too (and they did a lot better at Pool than us, only just losing by a goal).

  • The game is not on UK TV, so I was wondering whether the likes of Seventeenho and JW (or Eris and PE) are up for doing a live blog today…

  • TA … most important to me is rotation that still gives a strong team. There is good logic in your playing Kos and resting Nacho. Sokratis availability on Wednesday, gives a better room for resting Kos. This would reshuffle my line up to:

    —Must Kos Litchs—–
    AMN Guendz Xhak Kola
    —- Ozil Lacazette Mkhi—-

    Same 6 changes.

  • TA … I like your line up but I suspèct that Torreira does have issues of slow recovery from fatigue.

  • A glorious start to Easter thanks to Everton… i hope we do our part today. I cant tell you how happy id be with our season and progression if we can finish ahead of Tottenham. Actually, even better is them, with no champions league next season and a stadium to pay for. And I’m still furious about that allowed goal vs Man city that sent them to the next round. How can the ref not be shown the only camera angle that showed the handball conclusively?? They showed the poor views over and over until he upheld the goal. Then showed the correct angle. I smell a dirty spuds fan in the tv directors room.

  • Confirmed.

    —Musti Kos Macro
    Jenko Elneny Guendz Kola

    That’s a brave selection in the MF.

    6/11 for the Post. Slippery Emery.😱

  • Midfield will take some time gelling with the defence but once we get going, we should be able to take all 3 points against Palace. It’s all about rotation and having fresh legs for the difficult Away games to come: Wolves on Wednesday and Leicester on Sunday.


  • Really not happy with that midfield pairing. But let’s hope we play mostly in Palace’s half and don’t need proper midfield play from a defensive perspective. Two strong attackers to hopefully score today…

  • That’s exactly what’s happened. We’ve had a lot of the possession but lack clear cut penetration; few occasions we did, our attackers lacked the composure. Expect CP to defend deep and unless Kolasinac starts to take the job of going behind their defence (to cross incisively for Laca and Auba), we may be in for a dreary time of it.

    A word on our fans. We need to stop the loud groans and moans; doesn’t help the players one bit. It’s Emery’s style to retain possession, even if it means passing backwards.

    We should be able to make changes that will turn this around quickly. It’s a great chance to put Spurs behind us and have top 3 in our hands. Come on, lads. Let’s just do this!

  • Oh dear oh dear. How predictable is this? Emery just had to play Torreira in this one. A central midfield of GuenEny is just not going to work, either in terms of protecting the defence or supporting the attack. Now we have the dreaded first goal against us and it all to do in second half. I’d be surprised if we get more than a draw out of this one.

  • I’m thinking Iwobi, AMN, Torreira for the subs to come on and change it.

  • Just what we needed. 1-1 MO10. Now bring on Torreira for Guendouzi or Eleny, shore up our defending and then have the base to get the second one. We remain vulnerable to a counter goal.

  • Never trusted a defense that included Mustafi, Mavro, Jenko(Litchs) and Kola because of lapses. 2 goals from errors. Top 4 still in our hands though.

  • Still recovering from the roller coaster of emotions the game offered; plus the raft of social media banter it elicited after seeing United go down so handsomely.

    Just knew the selection was a bit dodgy, yet there was need to rest up players and show some trust in the squad. However, we have not been smart in defending, conceding some fouls in positions from where they could hurt us. Funny thing is other than those errors and allowing John Moss’ antics (plus Palace’s frustrating play) get to us, it was a good game we played.

  • In other news, Santiago Cazorla still doing bits at Villarreal. What a player.

  • With Sok back and hopefully Xhaka too, and Torreira a sure starter, we should put up a better fight this Wednesday v the wild warriors of Wolves. Lose that one too and it is more or less over re high PL finish. Big test for the club.

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