The distraction of the transfer window is over and whilst many people will be disappointed we didn’t bring in a striker or Julian Draxler, we just have to get on with it and support the players we have for the rest of the season.
One player we did bring in is Kim Källström. It was a bit out of the blue, the boss mentioned in his early morning press conference that he wanted to bring in a midfielder and about 10 hours later he had signed. None of the media or the “ITKs” knew about it until it was almost done. The deal is somewhat of a strange one, Källström is an experienced player by all accounts but he hasn’t played since November. He currently has an injury which raises the question why he was brought in if he cannot contribute straight away whilst we are short in midfield. Anyway I’m sure we’ll hear more from the boss on the deal tonight.
In other team news, Mathieu Flamini begins his three game suspension, Jack Wilshere remains out while Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad. Gedion Zelalem should replace Carl Jenkinson on the bench after only playing 45 minutes for the U21s the other night.
The team I expect to see is as follows;
Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Özil, Podolski, Giroud
Gibbs is likely to regain his place after Monreal’s below-par performance last week. It’s great we have two players of such high quality in the same position that can get the best out of each other and can fit in seamlessly.
Either Oxlade-Chamberlain or Rosicky will start alongside Arteta, I believe it will be the latter. The Czech has been in terrific form this season and his turn of pace is much needed in the team after missing midweek through illness. If Rosicky starts I don’t see ‘The Ox’ being risked as he’s our only other midfielder fit.
Podolski deserves a start and the only way I can see that happening is if Cazorla or Özil shift out to the right and Podolski plays on the left wing. Gnabry’s youthfulness has been refreshing of late but he has played a lot in the last few weeks and perhaps will be rested today.
When we met Crystal palace earlier this season we found it very difficult. Now with Tony Pulis in charge, we know it is likely to be even more difficult. They’re likely to play 4-4-2 which will mean we will dominate possession but I think it could be a frustrating day at the office where an odd goal will win it. A win for us today is essential with Manchester City hosting Chelsea tomorrow night. Victoria Concordia Crescit.