Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces a tricky selection dilemma ahead of tomorrow afternoon's clash with a revitalised Crystal Palace, particularly following Mathieu Flamini's red card in midweek.
Flamini was dismissed towards the end of Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Southampton for a two-footed lunge, a red card which will see the Frenchman suspended for the next four matches.
Arsenal's preparations for a busy run of February fixtures have also been rocked by the continued absence of Aaron Ramsey, who will now spend a further four to six weeks on the sidelines with a recurrence of a thigh injury suffered on Boxing Day.
Wenger has attempted to ease that woe by signing Swedish midfield veteran Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow. Kallstrom is available this weekend but has not played a competitive fixture since December, making his inclusion from the start highly unlikely.
Jack Wilshere would be Flamini's natural replacement in central midfield but missed the Southamtpon match with an ankle problem, with his participation against Palace rated as highly doubtful.
One positive piece of news for the Gunners is the return of Tomas Rosicky, who should go straight back into the starting XI after returning from a broken nose suffered last month at Aston Villa.
Rosicky will partner Arteta in central midfield, with Mesut Ozil playing just ahead in support of lone striker Olivier Giroud.
In-form Santi Cazorla will continue on the left flank, but Wenger has a more difficult decision to make on the right wing, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fights to dislodge Serge Gnabry from the starting XI.
Oxlade-Chamberlain could come for only his second Premier League start of the season at the Emirates, while at full-back Kieran Gibbs is fit and expected to take over from able deputy Nacho Monreal.
Arsenal starting XI to face Crystal Palace: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscienly, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud