With the final international break of the season and the 2022 World Cup draw now behind us the attention can fully turn towards the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign. In his most recent press conference, Mikel Arteta noted that both Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu remain doubtful for Monday’s match, but that Bukayo Saka has returned to full training.
Arsenal’s south London neighbors have been a fixture in the Premier League for nearly a decade. Since their promotion for the 2013-14 season, the two sides have met 17 times in the Premier League. The Gunners won six out of the first seven series, but have only managed one win in the last seven matches against Palace. Earlier this season Arsenal drew 2-2 at home but had a 3-1 victory on their last trip to Selhurst Park, including a brace by Pepe.
If you missed it, we spoke with The Eagles Beak earlier this week to discuss the current state of Crystal Palace and their prediction for this weekend’s match.
- Eddie Nketiah
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Mohamed Elneny
- Nuno Tavares
- Rob Holding
- Takehiro Tomiyasu
- Arthur Okonkwo
- Left Out: Aaron Ramsdale (hip injury)
- Ramsdale missed the Aston Villa match and pulled out of the England camp to rehab this hip injury. Based on Arteta’s comments it sounds like he wasn’t that close on Friday so it’s doubtful they would risk him on Monday, especially when you have a backup as experienced as Leno. Start Bernd once again, have Okonkwo on the bench, and give Ramsdale off until next weekend when Arsenal hosts Brighton.
- Tomiyasu appears to be closer to a return after this slow rehab the past few weeks. Given where Arsenal is in the table and the matches still to come, I’d opt to take it slow with Tomiyasu by putting him on the bench for Monday. Cedric has been solid deputizing for him and this could allow Takehiro to come on for the final 20-30 minutes. Like Ramsdale, hopefully, this sets him up for a start before we get to the clash with Chelsea.
- Due to COVID Saka got an extended break missing out on England’s fixtures. He appears to be back in full training and in contention to start Monday. If he’s fit he starts. But even if there are doubts, like Tomiyasu, having Saka come off the bench it’s that detrimental to Arsenal’s attack. Arteta could shift Emile Smith Rowe to the right or start Pepe.
- Regardless of Saka’s status, starting Martinelli is the right option. His vertical movement is important given how much Lacazette drops back and lacks the ability to push their backline deeper. Despite Martinelli’s travel for Brazil’s matches, he likely gets the start with Smith Rowe starting on the right or being the second-half injection into the attack.
How to watch
Monday (4/4) at 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT on the USA Network.
Arsenal - 2
Crystal Palace - 1