Arsenal

Dream Arsenal XI vs Crystal Palace – Smith Rowe chance, Havertz missed out and Jesus starts

Kai Havertz misses out in dream Arsenal XI to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend, as Mikel Arteta has decisions to make on Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal face Crystal Palace as the Premier League gets back underway mercifully after more than a week away from the action whilst some of the Gunners’ rivals will instead take their break this weekend. Palace have not already been in action but were unable to seal a fourth-round FA Cup tie like their weekend opponents after a midweek defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.

Mikel Arteta knows that the pressure is on, especially considering the quick turnaround that his opposite number Roy Hodgson has had to cope with following the cup exit. Arsenal will welcome back several key players following recovery in the Middle East.

It is an important few weeks for the Gunners as their title credentials are tested to the limit. In just a few games Arsenal could have thrust themselves well into the race for glory or fallen out of it completely, such is the volatile nature of the competition this season.

With that in mind, football.london takes a look at what a dream XI might look like come Saturday. Arteta needs to make the right choices in a must-win game for his side.

Starting with the goalkeeper and we have already got an interesting element with my view that Aaron Ramsdale deserves to continue in goal. His performance against Liverpool was impressive and if Arteta is to stand by his word he’s previously spoken about regarding his keepers it would make sense to see the England international come in – that said it would be a surprise.

The back four picks itself with continued worry over a number of players. Oleksandr Zinchenko remains a doubt after Mikel Arteta refused to provide an update and Jurrien Timber is of course unavailable

Jakub Kiwior looks set to continue at left-back and there is little worth in trying something different in such a key game. Ben White has had a weekend away from matches to rest his niggling knee issue and William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes are expected to come back in.

Into midfield and despite rumours of West Ham being keen on Emile Smith Rowe, the England international should be given a chance to into this side and fight for his place. Declan Rice anchors the midfield and Martin Odegaard can combine with Smith Rowe to form a two-pronged attack from midfield

Gabriel Jesus will hopefully make his return from injury and can partner his usual wide teammates. Gabriel Martinelli was dropped for Reiss Nelson against Liverpool but he and Bukayo Saka should be the main picks this weekend.,

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