Premier League Preview – Arsenal
With the unbeaten run coming to an end at Southampton and an ever increasing injury list, things do not get any easier with the visit of Arsenal to Selhurst Park.
Other fixtures went the way of the Eagles at the weekend so Sam Allardyce will be well aware that anything from this fixture will be a real bonus. However, he will not be helped by the growing number of missing personnel ahead of three games in quick succession.
The Gunners travel to South London off the back of a convincing win at home the West Ham United but they now sit seven points outside the top four. A win is a necessity for them in a season that has seen pressure pile on the players, manager and club the longer it has gone on.
Wenger will be wary of a Palace side that returned from Stamford Bridge recently with all three points in their back pocket. Meanwhile, Allardyce will have no time for pleasantries in a season that is fast running out of games with Palace desparate to achieve Premier League safety.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – James McArthur (back) will face a late fitness test while Yohan Cabaye (calf), Loic Remy (calf), Scott Dann (knee), James Tomkins (calf), Patrick van Aanholt (ankle) and Fraizer Campbell (hamstring) are all doubts. Connor Wickham (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee), Steve Mandanda (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) all continue to miss out.
ARSENAL – Petr Cech (calf), David Ospina (back), Lucas Perez (thigh), Santi Cazorla (plantaris) and Laurent Koscielny (achilles) are both doubts.
The last time the two sides met was at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. French striker Olivier Giroud scored the opening goal early in the first half. Alex Iwobi pounced shortly after the break to double the hosts lead and seal the points.
Who Scored man of the match – Alex Iwobi
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 01/01/2017: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 17/04/2016: Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 16/08/2015: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
- 21/02/2015: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
- 16/08/2014: Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 05/04/2017: Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 01/04/2017: Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 18/03/2017: Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
- 04/03/2017: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace
- 25/02/2017: Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough
Last FIVE results for Arsenal;
- 05/04/2017: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United
- 02/04/2017: Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
- 18/03/2017: West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Arsenal
- 11/03/2017: Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln City
- 07/03/2017: Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Alexis Sanchez 7.81
- Wilfried Zaha 7.44
- Christian Benteke 7.35
- Laurent Koscielny 7.32
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Newbury, Swindon Town, Southampton
The 28 year old began his career with Newbury Town in 1999 before moving to the youth set up at Swindown Town in 2000. He did not spend long there before heading to the South Coast with Southampton later that year. The winger from Stanmore made his Saints debut in 2005 and went on to make 21 appearances, scoring 4 goals.
The Gunners came calling in January 2006 and paid £5million for his highly rated services. In over ten years at the club, Walcott has made well over 250 appearances and scored over 60 goals. The Arsenal number 14 has made several youth appearances for England along with almost 50 full caps. With 19 goals in all competitions so far this season., Walcott will be a real threat in the game at Selhurst Park.
Final league position – 4th
The top six is proving to be quite a fight this season with the big sides all in the mix. It seems that these clubs have all upped their game after the surprise title winners Leicester City triumphing last season. Through all the critics of late, Arsenal still have quality throughout their squad and they are likely to make a late season push to secure a top four spot. Whether or not Arsene Wenger stays on is another matter entirely.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Mark Harrison’s prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – away win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 7/2
- Draw – 27/10
- Away – 4/5
- Both teams to score – 8/13