Predicted Arsenal XI to play Crystal Palace - Time for the Ox to start?

Match to be played on Sunday 2nd February 2014 at 16:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal will be without the suspended Mathieu Flamini when they host Crystal Palace this Sunday, as they look to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

The Gunners fought well away at Southampton during the week to earn a point but Arsene Wenger will be looking for a response from his team as they look to get back to the top of the league as quickly as possible.

Here’s the side Wenger could select this weekend.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny

The Pole will continue in goal. He’s barely made any errors this season and offers a lot of strength to Arsenal’s defence.

RB – Bacary Sagna

Sagna will have plenty of time in the ball in this game, which he should use in an attacking sense. However, it’s important he doesn’t forget his defensive duties and drops back in.

CB – Per Mertesacker

Arsenal’s big German will take any aerial threat out of the equation. He’ll also step out of the defence and take some risks, knowing that Laurent Koscielny will fill in behind for him.

CB – Laurent Koscielny

The Frenchman is the perfect partner for Mertesacker in several ways. His pace means he can cover more positions and he carries just as strong a physical presence, which makes the heart of Arsenal’s back four difficult to get through.

LB – Nacho Monreal

Wenger seems to have settled on using Monreal as his primary left-back at the moment. Defensively he’s solid and he gets forward well on the left, which allows the winger to tuck in.

RM – Serge Gnabry

The German’s job on the right will be to press and attack hard, stopping the Cardiff full back from getting forward.

DM – Mikel Arteta

Arteta will most likely play the holding role in Flamini’s absence, looking to sit in and break up the play. It’s a role he has done effectively so far this season.

CM – Santi Cazorla

Cazorla could move into a central position off of the left hand side with Aaron Ramsey not yet ready to return. Cazorla has all the skills needed to control the game in the middle.

AM – Mesut Ozil

Ozil will sit at the top of the midfield in behind the main striker. He’s suffered a dip in form but he’s still a world class player who can make a chance out of nothing in this sort of game.

LM – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox may get a rare chance to start this game on the left. His pace, in the same way as Gnabry’s, will be crucial in terms of keeping the full back pinned back inside his own defensive third.

ST – Olivier Giroud

Giroud will be confident after getting a goal against the Saints. He’ll play right at the top of the attack, looking to back in and create space for himself and others in the Arsenal side to be effective.

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