Arsenal will take on Crystal Palace on Sunday with a point to prove after losing to West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in their opening match of the season.
The Gunners have been expected to prove that they are serious title contenders this season, but an opening day defeat to Hammers has left fans doubting.
Hence, we look at four things Arsenal need to do to secure victory against Palace at Selhurst Park.
- Walcott upfront
In our last game, Giroud was chosen over Walcott because of the physical and defensive approach of the opposition team; but this time, we face a more attacking team which will be good for Walcott, his pace will be needed to run in behind defenders and with a better finishing than the wasteful Giroud, Walcott should get the job done easily against Palace.
- Two wingers
Against West Ham, Arsenal were easily choked in because of the lack of width in the midfield. The West Ham defensive full-back shield of Oxford and Kouyate weren’t stretched wide enough, causing Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla to be choked up and ineffective.
With two wingers in Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain available for selection, the flanks would be a huge threat, dragging Palace midfielders wide and leaving enough space in the middle for Ozil and Santi to roam freely, with the wingers also useful on the counter against an attacking Crystal Palace side.
- Well timed counter attacks
As mentioned above, Crystal Palace are an attacking side, an average one though; and that would be similar to the Lyon side Arsenal met in the Emirates Cup. The tactics used in that 6-0 trouncing of Lyon would be very effective against Palace.
Against Lyon, for every time the French club attempted an attack and failed, Arsenal punished them with a lightening counter attack.
It would be just perfect on Sunday, with the pace of Walcott upfront supported by Alexis and Chamberlain on the flanks, the Eagles back-line would be torn apart with an aging Hangeland adding extra sluggishness to the Palace defense.
- Early goal
The need for an early goal cannot be over emphasized.
It showed against West ham, as Arsenal created chances upon chances and didn’t finish them and as time wore on they lost the tempo, allowing their opponents into the game.