All but out of the title race, Arsenal have to deal with the disappointment of last weekend and get their heads up for the visit of Crystal Palace.
So far this season the Emirates Stadium has failed to really be a fortress, or anything resembling one, and fans need to be a bit more positive to get behind a team which constantly appears to be questioning itself.
The Premier League title may be out of reach now but Spurs aren’t and, if we aren’t careful, Manchester City and Manchester United will be right behind us.
As well as criticising the decision to take Kevin Friend off duty for Tottenham’s game on Monday, Arsène Wenger did also discuss Arsenal-centric matters at Friday’s press conference.
The boss insisted that Mesut Özil is worthy of any and all accolades he receives for his season after the German was nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award this week.
Then focusing on the rest of his team, Wenger demanded the very best from his players between now and the end of the season, regardless of their frustrations.
“We have to show some mental quality and show that we have the quality to believe and fight for our club until the last minute,” the manager insisted.
Fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey came off the bench last weekend and could feature from the start but is unlikely to be rushed.
Per Mertesacker and Petr Čech will be hoping to reclaim their places in the side following last weekend’s disappointing performance.
Possible XI: Čech; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Alexis, Özil, Iwobi; Welbeck.
Crystal Palace have won just once in 16 Premier League games, dating back to Boxing Day. In that time they’ve scored just 11 times and, though it was just a week ago, their only win came against 17th placed Norwich City.
Despite all that, they still appear to be a threatening side and Arsène Wenger has admitted he’s wary of their attacking threat, even if Wilfried Zaha could be missing this weekend.Alan Pardew has confirmed Palace fancy their chances in dead ball scenarios and looks likely to start former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor in order to exploit that part of Arsenal’s game but Connor Wickham could be selected instead.
Alan Pardew has confirmed Palace fancy their chances in dead ball scenarios and looks likely to start former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor in order to exploit that part of Arsenal’s game but Connor Wickham could be selected instead.
Midfielder James McArthur and forward Dwight Gayle are out.
Possible XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souaré; Cabaye, Jedinak, Puncheon; Bolasie, Adebayor, Sako.
Sunday is a London derby, though it isn’t really perceived as an important one, but the bragging rights up for grabs are much more important.
Despite what he has said publicly, Arsène Wenger knows how much it would mean to finish below Spurs. More importantly, how much it would mean to them. We can’t allow them that joy. So: win on Sunday and close the gap.