Arsenal host Crystal Palace at the Emirates in the only Premier League game of the day because of the FA Cup fixtures. The Gunners are coming off a disappointing exit from the Europa League at home to Sporting Lisbon on penalties. Perhaps the defeat will prove a blessing in disguise. Arsenal have just the Premier League to focus on from here on in. The club has 11 matches remaining. 10 wins guarantees a title.
It’s mildly annoying that Arsenal keep managing to catch teams when they’ve just sacked their manager. How many new manager bounces will the Gunners have to face this season? Crystal Palace showed Patrick Vieira the door on Friday. Paddy McCarthy will take interim charge of the Eagles while the club searches for a replacement to take them through the end of the season.
The sacking is harsh on Patrick Vieira. He had Palace playing good football, and at times, they were a really tough opponent for anybody in the league. But they haven’t won a match this calendar year and are drifting towards the relegation zone. That’s tough for any manager to survive. They should be fine — they’ve played a particularly tough schedule up to this point in 2023 and they play all 8 teams below them in the table before the end of the season. They’re only three points clear of the drop, but with nine teams in the relegation scrap and so many proverbial “6 point matches” on the schedule, Palace should have more than enough quality to stay up.
Arsenal will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba. The former’s knee injury against Sporting is thought to be a serious one. The latter has a back issue that is reportedly a bit more concerning than initially thought, but my gut tells me that’s Arsenal posturing to keep him home from international duty. There was a chance that Saliba might have been available for today’s match, but they’re going to hold him out. I’d be surprised if he misses more than the Leeds match after the international break. Mohamed Elneny is a long-term absentee.
Crystal Palace will likely be without Will Hughes and James McArthur through illness. First-choice goalkeeper Vicente Guaita has been dealing with an injury and may not be ready to make his return. Palace will also be without Albert Sambi Lokonga, who is ineligible to play against his parent club. Sambi not playing is a big miss for Palace — he’s been one of their better players since his loan.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Trossard
⚪️— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 19, 2023
Holding at the back
Xhaka in midfield
Trossard up top
Let’s finish strongly before the international break! pic.twitter.com/JiqPbwkkN1
Crystal Palace - Whitworth, Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell, Milivojevic, Doucoure, Schlupp, Olise, Zaha, Edouard
WHAT: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
WHEN: Sunday, March 19th, 7:00 am PT | 10:00 am ET | 2:00 pm BT
WHERE: The Emirates Stadium, London
HOW TO WATCH: Airing live on the USA Network. Streaming on NBCSports.com
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