It has been over 45 years since Hodgson was first appointed to take charge of a club, when he guided Halmstads BK to the Allsvenskan in his first season in charge. His record in Sweden is astonishing. His eclectic repertoire since is more so, arguably. He deserves a major farewell today.
Subs: Alexandre Lacazette, Cedric Soares, Dani Ceballos, Willian, Mat Ryan, Pablo Marí, Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney; Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey; Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Subs: Jairo Riedewald, Jack Butland, Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Ayew, Patrick van Aanholt, Jesuran Rak-Sakyi, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Michy Batshuayi, Martin Kelly.
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-3-3): Vicente Guaita; Joel Ward, James Tomkins,Gary Cahill, Tyrick Mitchell; Cheikhou Kouyate,James McCarthy, Jeffrey Schlupp; Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha.
Meanwhile, there are a pair of swaps for Arsenal too, with Calum Chambers and Nicolas Pepe handed starts this evening.
For his final game in charge at Selhurst Park, Hodgson has made two changes, with Vicente Guaita and James Tomkins back into the side – the latter in the place of Eberechi Eze, who looks set to be out until 2022 with an Achilles injury.
The former England manager has stabilised the Eagles as a regular fixture in the top-flight – and his side would surely love to send him off with a flourish. Can they spoil Arsenal’s plans to deliver a shot to their slim hopes? Or will the Gunners poop the farewell party?
But as much as the Gunners might like to make it their night, the news that Roy Hodgson will step down in charge of his boyhood club at the end of the campaign makes this a different kind of night to welcome supporters back through the gates.
It has been another season of frustration in north London – but whereas Mikel Arteta could assuage last year’s shortcomings with a FA Cup final triumph, now their path to continental football next term looks perilously narrow.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2020-21 Premier League season, as Arsenal look to bolster their slim hopes of European football next season in a must-win trip to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.