Good morning all, it’s been a while.
Tonight we face Crystal Palace in what I suspect will be our biggest test in quite some time. Roy’s boys will set up in a low block and look to hit us on the break, with players ideally suited ,like Zaha, Eze and Townsend. We have struggled, to the point of incompetence, against this system for over 12 months, but that might be about to change. The belated emergence of ESR has made look much more likely to break down such a system. Who knew a 10 would have this effect? Everyone bar Arteta I suspect, but Covid ruling William out saw Mikel stumble on ESR, like a blind Squirrel finding a nut. Still, having found his nut, at least he appears to have the good sense to make use of it. That’s a bonus.
Leno will start, being he is the only keeper we seem to have now. Hector and Tierney are both in good form so they are nailed on and I think the back four, which thankfully we are back to, wil be Holding and Mari. Gabriel is available again, but it would be harsh on their of the other two to leave them out. I’ll whisper this quietly so no one hears, I think Mari has been better than Gabriel anyway.
That takes us into the engine room of midfield. Our captain without the armband, Xhaka will surely start, the question is , with who? Partely is ready and would be his partner normally , but he might be nurtured back from the bench, so Ceballos or Elneny with likely start, the experiment of Willock in CM ,having not worked in the cup.
The front 3 of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Saka looks our best bet, so that’s what I expect.
We all hope that we can turn the season around, the wins that started against Chelsea have at very least given us hope. Arteta’s nut is a game changer, ESR could be the real deal. Ok, he’s still a mile away from Ozil, but that ship has sailed away and been scuppered, so no point crying over spilt magic.
Enjoy the game. COYG.