As international breaks go this was a pretty good one for Arsenal.
The Gunners players came back from playing for their countries relatively injury free and the positive expeciences they’ve had over the past two weeks will only serve to boost the upbeat mood around the camp at the Emirates right now.
It will be a cauldrenous atmosphere down at Selhurst Park, and these are the kind of games that Aaron Ramsdale has tended to thrive in.
However, the England keeper is still “a doubt” for this match, and as a result it’s hard to see him starting, with Bernd Leno likely to continue in between the sticks.
In front of the German, Arteta will be wary of altering things too much, particularly after the impressive set of results Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Ben White have all played a part in recently.
Perhaps the only change that the Spaniard might consider is at right back, where Takehiro Tomiyasu is “close” to making his return.
The Japanese international is being eased back in to training with the first team group at London Colney, but Arteta’s effusive praise for Cedric in his pre-match presser is something of a hint over who will play.
“It’s not a coincidence,” the Spaniard said when asked about his right back’s return to the fiercely competitive Portuguese national squad.
“When you have the professionalism, the dedication, the habit and obviously the experience and ability that Cedric has and you never give up, good things happen to you.
He’s been patient, he’s been keeping quiet and working hard and accepting the situation, and when he’s had the chance he’s done well. That’s why the national manager has decided to bring him back which I’m really happy with.”
In midfield Arteta will not want to change anything particularly with the form Thomas Partey is showing at the minute. Granit Xhaka will start to the left of the imperious Ghanaian, while it will be Martin Odegaard in the slightly more advanced position over on the right.
The Norwegian will be hoping to combine effectively again with Bukayo Saka in the right hand pod now that the 20-year-old is back training after missing out on England duties.
Up front will be Alexandre Lacazette leaving Arteta with one crucial decision on the left.
The running battle between Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe is arguably what has kept both’s performance levels so high in recent months.
At Villa it was the latter who was given the nod, but given the Hale Enders fitness struggles while in the Three Lions camp over the past couple of weeks, Arteta may deem it sensible to throw Martinelli back into the side.
Arsenal XI vs Crystal Palace – Leno, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli.