11 matches. That is all that separates Arsenal from a historic Premier League title. Forget the Europa League defeat. Look past the upcoming break in flow with the international break. Look past the minor injuries. Arsenal have it in their control and six of those matches home at the Emirates. Sunday presents an excellent opportunity to cross another game off the list and move three points closer to the championship.
Arsenal has won 30 of the 52 all-time matches between these two London clubs. The Gunners beat Crystal Palace at the start of the season 2-0 with an early goal from Martinelli and an own goal by Marc Guehi in the second half. Which was a reversal of fortune after failing to win either match in this series during the 2021-22 season. Arsenal have only lost at home against Palace once since 1995, and check out the backline for the Gunners that day:
Carl Jenkinson | Laurent Koscielny | Dinos Mavropanos | Shkodran Mustafi | Sead Kolašinac
- Gabriel Jesus
- Reiss Nelson
- Fabio Vieira
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Kieran Tierney
- Jakub Kiwior
- Zach Awe
- Matt Turner
- Left Out: William Saliba (injury), Takehiro Tomiyasu (injury), Eddie Nketiah (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- At the time of writing the club has not released official updates on the status of William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu, or Eddie Nketiah. Indications are that Nketiah will remain out, Tomiyasu is likely out, and while Saliba probably is the closest of the three, he might be held back considering the international break is coming up to ensure he is 100% for the final stretch.
- If Saliba isn’t available, Rob Holding steps into the right side of the center back pair. With Tomiyasu also out, Arteta will be without two pieces of the backline depth chart. So will he opt for an extra CB from the U21s such as Zach Awe or full-back coverage in Reuell Walters?
- Thursday saw the return of Gabriel Jesus into the starting lineup, but it’s hard to imagine Artetat pushing him into two straight starts in four days. Especially with Leandro Trossard’s availability and impressive stint as the false nine. Trossard starts with Jesus coming on in the second half.
How to watch
Sunday (3/19) at 10:00 am ET / 7:00 am PT on the USA Network.
Arsenal - 2
Crystal Palace - 0
The last time Arsenal faced off against a new manager was the defeat at Everton. However, in that case, it was the appointment of a full-time role rather than an interim manager and there was a week to prepare for the match vs. two days. Crystal Palace won’t have a new manager on the sideline until after the international break, plus this match is at home vs. away. And nearly six weeks later, Arsenal is that much closer to the Premier League title. Two different situations, and hopefully the Gunners, two different results.