Arsenal expected 4-2-3-1 v Crystal Palace: 26-year-old axed as super sub starts
By Will Butcher
Arsene Wenger is likely to drop Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck for goalscoring super sub Olivier Giroud against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Welbeck, 26, has scored just three times in 10 games since returning from a long-term knee injury with the Gunners, remaining fruitless during the 3-0 win against West Ham.
France international Giroud came off the bench to score the Gunners’ third during the win, curling in a superb effort from the edge of the area that beat goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
The Gunners must pick up three points against Sam Allardyce’s side if they are to keep their top four hopes alive, and starting a buoyant Giroud following his 13th goal of the season will help them do that.
Giroud’s inclusion is the only change likely to be made by Arsene Wenger, as third-choice goalkeeper Emi Martinez remains in goal for the clash.
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Martinez retains his place in goal after keeping a clean sheet on Wednesday in just his 12th career appearance for the Gunners, with Petr Cech and David Ospina still suffering from muscle injuries.
Laurent Koscielny remains sidelined through injury, so Wenger is likely to name the same back four that started against the Hammers during the week.
Hector Bellerin joins Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal, while former Villarreal defender Gabriel continues to deputise for France international Koscielny.
Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka partner each other in holding midfield, while goal scorers Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil team up after finding the back of the net against West Ham.
They join Alexis Sanchez in attack, while Giroud is expected to lead the line in search of a 17th Premier League win of the season.
Three points will see Arsenal move just one point away from Man City, who sit in fourth, if Pep Guardiola’s side lose to Hull at the Etihad.