Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Arsenal v Crystal Palace

The Gunners are on a wretched run of form, while Crystal Palace are enjoying some of their best football of the season. Here is the Gunners' predicted starting XI with some welcome returnees.

Crystal Palace head to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon to face an Arsenal team who's top four ambitions looks increasingly unlikely as the season pans on.

The six-placed Gunners have not won in 2018 and come into this match on the back of three draws and two defeats, having last lost 2-1 to Bournemouth after drawing 0-0 with Chelsea.

It was thought originally that a swap deal involving Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be completed in time for the weekend but that isn't the case - with Arsenal and Manchester United still working to conclude the transfer.

Arsene Wenger's side have slipped to 6th in the table and are now 8 points adrift of a spot in the top four.

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To put it simply Arsenal have to win against Crystal Palace this Saturday.

The match will live on Star Sports network and live stream on Hotstar from 20.30 IST Saturday for Indian viewers. With Sanchez and Ozil not playing Arsenal should still be good enough to win but I don't trust the Gunners enough to place any wagers on the result. The Chilean notched twice in a 3-2 win at Selhurst Park over the festive period. Alexandre Lacazette is without a goal in nine matches whilst Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi showed very little signs of threatening against the Cherries last weekend.

Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are available for the first time in 2018 after injuries.

Further forward, Mesut Ozil is likely to make his comeback after a knee complaint, and he could be partnered by Danny Welbeck amid the uncertainty surrounding Alexis Sanchez's future.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mamadou Sakho, Andros Townsend and Scott Dann are all long term injuries.

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