Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this weekend.
Arsenal’s first away game of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign sees them take the short trip to South London in order to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners opened their campaign with a shock 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham United, prompting the same old concerns regarding the club’s lack of a winning mentality.
On Sunday, they take on an ever-improving Palace side under Alan Pardew, and the Gunners can’t afford to replicate their lack of prolificacy against the Hammers if they are to claim the three points.
Despite his indecisiveness against West Ham, Cech should retain the number one spot and prove his worth against a side who will look to put the Gunners under a lot of pressure.
Crystal Palace pose an evident danger at set-pieces, with striker Glenn Murray an excellent target man and a massive threat in the air, therefore Per Mertesacker must start as his height could prove key.
Calum Chambers also ought to come in at right-back, his physicality and strength would give the visitors a bit more solidarity when defending dead-ball situations.
Hector Bellerin is expected to miss out with a hip/thigh injury.
Francis Coquelin had a poor game against the Hammers on Sunday, though some could argue he’s allowed at least one after the incredible number of performances he has put in over the past nine months.
There is a worrying lack of competition for that key defensive midfield spot, and time will tell if Coquelin’s performance levels start to drop as a result of not being pushed hard enough to retain his place.
Santi Cazorla was arguably the Gunners’ best player last weekend, and his spot in the middle shouldn’t be in question, especially with Jack Wilshere nursing an injury.
Alexis Sanchez wasn’t supposed to feature last weekend, but the team’s dire situation meant putting him on was necessary. Assuming he’s fit and able, he has to start against the Eagles.
In Scott Dann and Damien Delaney, Palace have plenty of strength at the back and they will likely sit deep against the Gunners, starving them of space in behind.
Olivier Giroud is the ideal candidate to lead the line as he can compete physically against the centre-backs and provide the link-up play for Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to cause problems through the middle.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was excellent in an attacking sense against West Ham, and he deserves to keep his place in the XI ahead of Theo Walcott who offered little coming off the bench,