After an uninspiring second half display against Arsenal and us now in desperate need of our first three points of the season, we can expect to see a few changes for our trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
There’s some big decisions for Rafa to make – especially after some of the criticism he got for fielding a pretty uninspiring side against Arsenal last weekend.
The likes of Dubravka, Dummett, Fernandez, Yedlin, Diame, Ritchie and Perez (although he shouldn’t be) seem nailed on to me – as are Shelvey and Lascelles if they’re fit – but Joselu, Hayden and Murphy’s places in the side are under threat.
Providing Shelvey and Lascelles do make it, here’s the side I see Rafa going with:
Rondon to come in for Joselu to give us that extra bit of fire power up top, Shelvey to come in for Hayden and Kenedy to come in for Murphy; with the Brazilian still having the potential to be one of our most dangerous players despite a recent dip in form.
I’d argue that Murphy deserves another chance, but history suggests Rafa won’t start him in consecutive games. I also toyed with the idea that Muto could come in for Perez, but the Spaniard always seems to get the nod from Rafa.
With Shelvey and Lascelles nursing knocks and battling to be fit for the game, there’s a chance we will see this team if both miss out:
Many would prefer to see Ki start if Shelvey missed out, but I get the feeling Rafa would go with Hayden against an attacking and high-energy Palace side.
We shall see..