Palace at home – In Brief

A must win game especially with the spuds just losing the hardest of their remaining five fixtures. It’s given us the chance to go two points ahead if we can win and give them some cause for concern, while also giving us extra hope of seeing out these tricky aways we face on Wednesday and Sunday. After such a fine performance against Napoli, the lads should be feeling full of confidence – let’s forget the Watford match!

Laca wonders where the intimidating atmosphere of the San Paolo stadium has gone

Team news

Big Sok is serving the second game of his 2 match ban for being Greek. So, let’s put our hands together for squad player Shkodran. Three or four at the back? Three plus wingbacks would seem the best chance of providing the width necessary to get round the bus.

Granit is being assessed but maybe might not be risked if Matteo and the Terrier are both ready to go. So the midfield is sorted, with Guendouzi playing more in a deep Ramsey role with licence to roam forward a little, allowing the Terrier to excel at what he’s best at.     (Update: it would appear from Jeorge Bird on twitter that both Granit and the Terrier were in full training yesterday 🙂 )

Rambo is definitely out for an unspecified period. Home against Palace is, perhaps, the perfect scenario for Mesut, so he’ll probably start. Back at home we need the variety that the left and right side wing forwards Iwobi and Mkhitaryan bring, so maybe that’s the way to go. However, with Mesut to definitely start, means him playing central midfielder which is unlikely (assuming a centre forward is chosen to play).

Perhaps Auba or Laca will be given some pine time – Auba would be the popular choice. If he is, he’ll be itching to come on for a cameo 30 minutes and score a couple.

Our home record against Palace is pretty good but nothing can be taken for granted at this stage of the season. Townsend always plays better against us and Zaha, Benteke, Wickham and Batshitcrazy are all useful on their day.

Roy Wagnerson usually likes his teams to play some football so Palace may not be the most adept at parking the bus which might produce a game of decent football at the Emirates today.

Getty Images

Ant and me will be suitably enthusiastic about the match by the time our train gets into St Pancras (bang on time, hopefully) soon after 12.30pm.

Heaven knows how we’ll entertain ourselves at Finsbury Park in the intervening period before setting off for the ground!

COYRRG

chas

p.s. Let’s hope Everton are up for the game against the red mancs

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93 Responses to Palace at home – In Brief

  1. chas says:

    The annual White House Easter Egg Roll

  2. LBG says:

    Good trip Bros
    See you in the usual place, with luck and Easter trains, around 1.45. Sudoku is a good time filler!

  3. Sue says:

    It’s match day! Come on!!! The sun is shining, it’s going to be beautiful at the Emirates!
    Would love to see Mesut play today… I hope Mustafi keeps his head & doesn’t bundle Zaha over this time 🤞
    And I’d definitely be up for a Cardiff & Everton win 👍
    Enjoy the game everyone & where’s the Easter bunny?? 😛

  4. allezkev says:

    Some thoughtful rotation is needed to spare a few sore legs but Guendouzi, Ozil, Mustafi, Leno, Mkhitarayan and Iwobi will all be fresh, Jenkinson might even come into consideration?
    Is Lichtsteiner injured?

    Willock off of the bench late in the game perhaps, as that kid does have an eye for a goal, but I guess with so much at stake it’s unlikely.

    Good post as per usual.

  5. RA says:

    Good Morning, my seraphic Gooners,

    Those of you fortunate enough to be going to the game, I hope you enjoy yourselves, take deep breaths and yell for the team – our team, obviously! 🤪

    Sue, if you see a couple of guys wearing ra-ra skirts, don’t approach them — they will only get jealous of your special, non-green creation – and as they are likely to be Chas and Ant – we will never hear the end of how unfair life is, tomorrow. 😳

  6. Ant-Man says:

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    Be a tough game today. I just hope we end up with the 3 points. Another must win and one that will really put us in control of top 4 assuming that City beat United and bearing in mind that Chelsea and United still have to play each other.

  8. JM says:

    Among the candidates for the last relegation spot, Palace has the second least “goals against” of 46. Furthermore, when playing away this season, they did not lose by more than a 2 goals difference.

    Against the other top 5 teams away, they lost 1-3 to Chelsea, lost 3-4 to Liverpool, beat City 3-2, held United 0-0 and lost 0-2 to Spurs.

    Since they are still mathematically in the mix for the drop (along with Cardiff, Brighton, Southampton, Burnley, Bournemouth, Newcastle & West Ham), I would expect a battle against them in this match.

    That said, I am still going for a 2 goal margin win for us.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Enjoy the game Chas and Co (and Sue, LB and whoever else is lucky enough to enter the HoF today which such splendid conditions). This is indeed a tough game and legs will be tired, so we need an early goal (or two) and control the game as much as we can. We cannot rest our key defensive players as per JM’s CP away stats…. Koz and Torreira must play, especially now that SuperSok is forced to play with Troy’s recently acquired cojones in the stands.

    My 11:
    ————- Leno ————
    Must – Mavro – Koz – Kola
    —— Xha ——- Tor ——-

    ————-MO10————-

    Mkhi—– Laca ——-Iwob

    COTA!i

  10. RA says:

    Hi Ant-Man,

    There was a blur of light just outside the Manchester suburbs — did you forget which stadium you were going to yesterday today?

    Or just trying to get away from Duck? 🤪

    What are you having for breakfast? A Greggs assortment, the odd lager or two.

    I am probably wrong, and my diary secretary, aka Sue, has absconded, but the Arsenal game kicks off at 4 p.m. – I think – you will be pixilated by then!! 🤩

  11. Ant says:

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    The game is not on UK TV, so I was wondering whether the likes of Seventeenho and JW (or Eris and PE) are up for doing a live blog today… 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh ignore my last comment, was meant for another blog hehehe 🙂

  14. Ant says:

    Hi RA,
    Chas’s finest packed lunch is ready for later; brekkie is of the liquid variety. I’ve got an assortment of craft ales to peruse.
    Glad you know which day the game’s on and the location!
    We hope to be pixilated by about 3pm after the train beers, hip flask and then some Guinness and Strongbow in the pub.
    Cheers 🍻🍺🥃⚽️

  15. chas says:

    Ant’s thinking of auditioning

    Nottingham has the red and white out for The Arsenal!

  16. Ant says:

  17. RA says:

    Chas,

    Ahemm — your avatar is usually a random nondescript splodge of green and pink(?) — I noticed that in the recent comments column it was replaced by a golden valley behind a black wine glass – Que?

    [Maybe that should be a ‘black wines glass’ to coordinate with your singular-plural vine-vines.]

    Worryingly – maybe I should address Ant-man as ‘Ant-Mans’ – names, eh — complicated. 😀

  18. chas says:

    RA
    As usual, I’ve no idea what you’re on about. 🙂

  19. RA says:

    The Vines On Tour!

    Now all is becoming better oriented in what’s left of my brain, the goodies laid out in Chas’ pic above looks ample for one — presumably Ant has his stashed away — and the pre-packed lunch prepared by Chas will no doubt be sumptuous and help to balance the liquid input, and now – I also know it’s Saturday, and you are both on the way to the Palace or somewhere.

    I have been to Bangkok a number of times on business conferences, and have to tell you it is exceptionally difficult to differentiate between Lady Boys, and Lady Girls.

    It is not uncommon for ‘mistakes’ to be made, as the most beautiful women are all too often — not. 😂

  20. Ant says:

    Is that from personal experience RA?

  21. Ant says:

    See it, say it, sorted

  22. Ant says:

    I’ve got my shorts on today Micky..

  23. RA says:

    Chas,

    You may well be right — I have had another look at the valley and the black wines glass — and somehow I am coming to realise it may be something else — perhaps a wines glass held up between two baldy blokes.

    I have to go — and I will worry for the rest of the day, that maybe you are really ‘Chas Vines The Wines Glass Man’

    Ooh, me ‘ead is achin’ summat orfull.

    See you later lads. 😎

  24. fred1266 says:

    Once she doesn’t try meeting them at the finnary bar since they are always a no show

  25. Ant says:

    Are you at the finnary bar today Fred?

  26. RA says:

    Oi Ant-Man, that’s below the belt — so to speak.

    Yes, and No — it is a conclusion I arrived at (see your comment @11:09) based on limited experience.

    I was ogling a really chic chick, and said to a female colleague while we were in the hotel foyer waiting for two other colleagues, that some of the girls looked terrific.

    She laughed and said if I through caution to the wind, I might get more than I expected — apparently one of the other guys had found out a bit late in the proceedings the error of his ways. The naughty boy. 😂

    Ta-ra

  27. chas says:

    RA
    I’m logged into WordPress hence the avatar.
    It’s a white lamp with a black stem and yellow background which looks a bit like a fanny (UK not US).

  28. Ant says:

    How’s your snow globe Fred? I want it to add to my Merci Arsene t shirt which will end up in the Arsenal museum.

  29. Ant says:

  30. Ant says:

    Well be there at 1pm..get the round in

  31. Ant says:

    Sue’s paying

  32. Ant says:

    Where is the finnary bar Fred? Is it in Trinidad or Finsbury Park?

  33. Ant says:

    When are you visiting Nottingham Fred?
    Chas will put you up

  34. Ant says:

    Where’s the bearded Indian Scottish coatless professor?

  35. Ant says:

  36. Ant says:

    Fred- are you coming to Baku with us for the Europe League final.

  37. Ant says:

  38. fred1266 says:

    I hope that not my merci arsene jersey u wearing

    Haven’t seen that some in ages Christmas coming so maybe someone can gift me one

  39. fred1266 says:

    Why does your beers be in glass bottles everytime I look at it thinking it soft drink

  40. fred1266 says:

    Finsbury I think

  41. fred1266 says:

    Hoping to once tickets not hard to get

  42. LB says:

    I do like to see what we are eating and drinking as I vicariously make my way from Nottingham to the Emirates, all very impressive so far 🙂

  43. Gilly says:

    Assuming the referees will open their eyes and be on the lookout for diving, we should win.

  44. Sue says:

    Well RA… I’ve just made it to the ground & not a ra-ra skirt in sight – I take it you’re not coming today then 😂😂

    Thanks TA, hopefully we’ll smash it (or I’ll smash my phone 😂)

    Ant – it’s too early for me, I’m a lightweight 🤪

    Last but not least – come on Arsenal 👊

  45. Sue says:

    Plus the women are 2-0 up 👊
    Come on Everton 🤞

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Two for the Toffees against Manure already!

  47. Sue says:

    That United kit is taking over from our green kit! 2-0 😝 Get in there!!!

  48. Sue says:

    3 is the magic number 😆 guess who’s getting sacked in the morning?!

  49. fred1266 says:

    Theo still doing it for us lol

  50. fred1266 says:

  51. fred1266 says:

    Nice to see jenkinson and mav getting a run

  52. Sue says:

    Thank you United – you didn’t disappoint 😉

    Elneny?? 😳

  53. Aaron says:

    That is a scary lineup! Who is going to move the ball forward to the goal scorers?

    At least Tor and Iwobi make the bench. sheesh…

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Geundouzi and Kolasinac need big games today as they will have to be the ones to feed Özil and get us on the front foot. Maybe Lacazette can drop in as well and link up with Mesut. I feel we might need our subs today to get the 3 points. With United looking like they are out of it and Spurs dropping points and having their eyes on other things this is a huge chance that we don’t want to miss.

  55. Aaron says:

    This is looking horrible.
    Garbage passes around midfield and final third.
    Give up a goal the only way they were going to score.
    Yikes!

  56. fred1266 says:

    More of that mesut

  57. Aaron says:

    The Arsenal have no one to dribble drive at the D, and I just saw Mav try to do that, Mav, not Elneny or Guen, Mav. Ozil can’t do it alone.
    The possession is better though.

  58. fred1266 says:

    Only manu gets those kinda calls

  59. fred1266 says:

    Some please tell elneny just stay back don’t do anything in attack please

  60. Aaron says:

    Positive changes.

  61. Aaron says:

    Right on…

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    Mustafi strikes again……………..

  63. Aaron says:

    We are at home correct??

  64. LB says:

    Conformation bias? Yep

  65. Aaron says:

    Said it 1000X Mustafi with anyone other than Mert to clean up for him is a disaster that WILL happen.

    Does not Emery look at basic stats and how many times we lose when this guy and Kos are in???

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    Can’t say I fancied us to put in a vintage performance after the midweek exploits and the inevitable rotation, but I thought we’d be better than this. Thank god Spurs and United lost.

  67. Aaron says:

    Man, I am so over watching this club with our D. Year after year, when the Arsenal don’t have their starters in, or are switching the back 4 every game, whether injury driven or not, everyone knows the outcome in advance.

  68. Aaron says:

    Glass half full, the Arsenal are getting 5th or 6th place. Better put all the teams energy in winning 3 Europa games for a trophy, and CL place.

    That means rest all the 1st teamers for those games including Leno. I don’t care how it looks, simple probability dictates this.

  69. fred1266 says:

    Thanks goodness I didn’t gloat after the manu lose

  70. fatgingergooner says:

    Aaron,

    We’ve just kept 6 clean sheets in 7 with all our defenders getting game time so I don’t think we need to panic just yet. We are also still firmly in the race for the top 4 so again, let’s not write that off just yet.

    All season we’ve made a mockery of the whole EL playing Thursday/Sunday problem that seems to hinder teams year in, year out, but I think today it finally caught up with us. Too many key players needed a rest and we were playing a side who are good on the break and have attacking threats. It’s not the game we needed.

    Thankfully the United and Spurs results mean not too much damage done and another game out of the way with us still in the top 4. Four league games left now and we will have to hope that we are much improved and have far more energy for those games as we will probably need at least 9 points to secure the top 4 position.

  71. Aaron says:

    Not panicking just stating the obvious.
    3 away games and 1 home for EPL.
    1 away game, 1 home game, and 1 neutral game to win Europa.

    Know which way I would go, seriously, just rest all the starters for those 3 games, seen it done around the world in all sports to gain legal advantage.

  72. fatgingergooner says:

    We are in the top 4 with 4 games left. I don’t see ya abandoning that competition to concentrate on Europe. We can achieve what we need in both if we perform to our level.

    Given last seasons shambles, if someone had offered this position at the beginning of the season I’d have bitten their arm off. Ultimately, it’s not where we want to be, but I think given the squad we have, the strength of the sides around us, and the fact we have a new manager, it’s been a brilliant season. Hats off to Emery. Hopefully he can strengthen in the summer and take us further.

  73. LBG says:

    The lesson is simple, and we should have learnt it long ago!
    We cannot believe, trust anything from this squad, whoever’s Emery selects. Three goals against that team is a disgrace and you wonder sometimes how worried any of them are!
    Moss was as determined as ever to be the “assistant”, but I’m fed up with that complaint. It is required to make him irrelevant to the final score and we are unable to do it. Disheartened.

  74. Sue says:

    What I gathered from today :-
    You can’t start Elneny/Guendouzi together in midfield!
    Torreira/AMN should have started!! Soon changed when they came on…
    I’m still not sold on Iwobi…
    I love Ozil (beautiful goal!)
    My boyfriend Kolasinac was poor today (but looked good in short (very tight) sleeves 😍
    Jon Moss (yes that little overweight man in black who was sweating that much, didn’t need the sprinklers on at half time) was an absolute disgrace, the amount of time wasting by every Palace player, particularly the GK went unpunished (as did numerous ‘fouls’)
    In all the times I’ve been, that’s the first time I’ve watched them lose 😢
    Zaha had a lot of grief today (some rightly so) but silenced the crowd.. I’d take him at Arsenal all day long (Stan make it happen!)
    Why oh why can’t we take advantage of other’s failings 😫
    Oh but United lost 4-0 HAHAHAHAHA OGS we want you to stay!!!

  75. Sue says:

    PS and I missed Sokratis

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    So glad I don’t lose my shit over Arsenal results anymore! I imagine it’s very tiring thinking the club should fold after every defeat! 😂

    Some of the Twitter reactions are ridiculous.

  77. Sue says:

    So when we play Valencia, can we give them Mustafi back??

  78. Ant-man says:

  79. fred1266 says:

    Unai Emery reminded doubters that Arsenal’s Champions League hopes are still in their hands despite a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.

    Arsenal succumbed to their first home league defeat since August on Sunday, with soft defending again a major factor.

    With Mesut Ozil having cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener, Palace hit back with two goals in the space of eight second-half minutes, making Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike nothing more than a consolation.

    The Gunners would have moved into third place, two points clear of rivals Tottenham, with a win, but Emery pointed out that Arsenal can still decide their own fate despite passing up a huge chance to boost their qualification hopes.

    “A big frustration, it was a big opportunity,” he said.

    “But we can say we had a big opportunity in the matches before and we took a lot of points in a lot of key moments that give us the opportunity to be now, in our way, with the possibility to achieve our targets.

    “Our first target is to get to the Champions League through the Premier League or Europa League. We lost a big opportunity but it doesn’t change our idea.

    “It’s in our hands, we can continue winning and being in the top four.”

    View image on Twitter
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    OptaJoe

    @OptaJoe
    7 – Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored more Premier League London derby goals than any other player this season (7). Lifeline. #ARSCRY

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    Arsenal’s set-piece frailties again came back to haunt Emery, with Palace opening the scoring from a free-kick before James McArthur headed in the winner unmarked from a corner, while Wilfried Zaha’s goal came due to an error from Shkodran Mustafi.

    And Emery acknowledged that set-pieces in particular are proving a difficult hurdle for his side to overcome.

    “If we were better in the set-pieces maybe we could win this match,” he added.

    “In all the season I think that has been a problem. They have good players and in the set-pieces we weren’t strong like all season. We struggled more than we wanted in these situations.

    “A day can happen like today. They have very good players and an experienced coach. They won at Manchester City, Newcastle and Leicester.”

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve watched so many Arsenal games in my life (3,000 plus) that I’ve now learned to take each game in my stride. However how is it possible that we shut out Napoli in the San Paolo Stadium and in the next game allow Crystal Palace to score three at the Emirates?

    It’s hard not to get really upset —————-I’m pissed!!! (not drunk) – yet.

  81. GunnerN5 says:

    I know that I’m a lone wolf in this subject but i’m more upset with the Emirates crowd than I am with the team. Just before half time I wrote a comment on my thoughts about the lack of support from the home supporters – but I erased it – as every time I approach the subject it’s met with deaf ears.

    Moans and groans were predominate on the TV at a time when cheers and support could have lifted the team up – how the hell can anyone think that moaning and groaning and booing will help the team?

    It just mystify’s me!!

  82. LB says:

    Things have changed GN5 and obviously not for the better but that is the way it is now, ticket prices have completely changed the kind of support that the club attract now days.

  83. Aaron says:

    GN5- right there with you.
    I could hear the visiting palace fans louder than the home fans on the tele.
    What the heck is that?

    Emery is delusional, our away form is one of the worst in the league in top 10 teams, and now the confidence the team built from the Napoli game is in question.

    He better start our best 11 in all three Europa games, and play the rest in our EPL games, along with some young and hungry under 23’s from the academy and Mustafi!

  84. chas says:

    NEW POST

  85. fred1266 says:

    I remember my first visit to the Emirates while sitting in upper tier we were playing Sunderland and I ask the guy they they making so much noise we not even winning then he said that the away fans and we I usually quite so shouldn’t come as a shock

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