Welcome back. While the Premier League returned to action this weekend, Arsenal has to wait a little bit longer before their eighth league match of the season. The Gunners saw a number of players play prominent roles for their national teams over the past week and a half, but perhaps more importantly appear to be returning in full health for the most part.
The sides will face off on Monday as 13th and 14th in the Premier League having waited patiently and each can secure a spot in the top half of the table with three points. Mikel Arteta will be hoping to replicate the team’s performance when they returned from international action last time which resulted in a pair of 1-nil victories to Arsenal.
The match will also be the return of Gunners’ legend Patrick Vieira, this time as new Crystal Palace manager, on the back of a solid start to his first season in charge of the Eagles. This past week I spoke with The Eagles Beak to discuss Crystal Palace’s season so far, their new signings, Vieira’s start, and a prediction for Monday’s match.
- Bernd Leno
- Nuno Tavares
- Rob Holding
- Mohamed Elneny
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles
- Gabriel Martinelli
- Alexandre Lacazette
- Left Out: Arthur Okonkwo, Sead Kolasinac, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Eddie Nketiah, & Folarin Balogun.
- Out: Granit Xhaka (knee).
- Unless someone comes back from international action with an injury there is little reason to change what has been a successful starting XI for Mikel Arteta.
- Since the last break, we saw Ramsdale take over in the nets, Gabriel & Ben White form their partnership and the arrival of Tomiyasu. During those five matches, Arsenal only allowed one goal (while scoring eight).
- With Granit Xhaka sidelined with a knee injury, the midfield appears set with Partey and Sambi sitting behind Martin Odegaard. Perhaps for the League Cup match on the 26th, we could see Elneny and/or Maitland-Niles return to the center of the pitch, but neither have given sufficient reason to withhold quality minutes for the summer arrival of Albert Sambi Lokonga.
- Now perhaps the one place Mikel Arteta may have reason to make a slight adjustment is with the attack. Arsenal landed just two shots on target against Brighton in the scoreless draw and just eight in total. However, looking at the entire last month it’s hard to make a case against Saka or Smith Rowe, nor Aubameyang who leads the team with five goals from his six starts. Pepe, Lacazette, and Martinelli are finding minutes hard to come by at the moment, but if the attacking quartet continues to perform well together the substitute trio may well be relegated to the Cups.
How to watch
Monday (10/18) at 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT on Peacock.
Arsenal - 2
Crystal Palace - 1
Arsenal responded following a difficult start to the season. But this next stretch of matches before the November international break (Palace, Villa, Leeds in the Cup, Leicester, & Watford) will go a long way towards telling us exactly where the club stacks up in the league at the moment — and if moving back into the European positions this season is a realistic goal.