'Defence the key to Arsenal's top-four bid'

Tuesday April 23 2019

Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha (centre) takes on Arsenal's English midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles (right) and Arsenal's German defender Shkodran Mustafi during their English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 21, 2019. PHOTO | ADRIN DENNIS |

Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha (centre) takes on Arsenal's English midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles (right) and Arsenal's German defender Shkodran Mustafi during their English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 21, 2019. PHOTO | ADRIN DENNIS |  AFP

AFP
By AFP
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LONDON

Unai Emery is faced with a defensive dilemma that could make or break Arsenal's hopes of a top-four finish to their Premier League campaign.

The Gunners travel to Wolves on Wednesday having missed a chance on tightening their grip on a top four finish ahead of at least two of Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United undermined by a 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Arsenal were extremely poor defensively that day. Two goals were from badly-defended set-pieces while the other was the result of an extraordinary individual error by Shkodran Mustafi.

Gunners manager Emery had opted to rest a number of players after a win at Napoli the previous week that had seen north London side Arsenal into the last four of the Europa League.

Now, after that plan backfired, the Spaniard must decide whether to keep the three-man back line that allows Mesut Ozil to flourish in an advanced midfield position behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, or play safe with a traditional back four.

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