Thursday sees Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal make the brief journey south to face Roy Hodgson’s resurgent Eagles facet in a London derby beneath the Selhurst Park lights, the place the Gunners will be trying to enhance on a current run of 1 win in 4, whereas Palace will probably be hoping to increase their membership file unbeaten run within the Premier League to 9 video games.
A win for Arsenal would put them again amongst the pack chasing for the highest 4, though their predominant precedence in south London will probably be to bounce again defensively from a shambolic efficiency on the again final Friday in opposition to Liverpool.
Palace had been lucky to stay in 16th place with out even kicking a ball after a dramatic spherical of Boxing Day fixtures, that means a win in opposition to their London rivals would put them in a really comfy place within the scrap for survival.
This is every part you might want to learn about this Thursday’s battle between north and south…
Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace
Having recorded 4 attracts and three losses of their opening seven video games, the percentages had been very a lot stacked in opposition to Palace taking something from their journey to Highbury to face Arsenal, with the Gunners boasting the likes of David Seaman and former Eagle Ian Wright amongst their ranks.
In typical Palace vogue nonetheless, the south Londoners carried out admirably when closely thought of the underdog, and raced right into a 2-Zero lead at half time courtesy of John Salako’s first half brace.
Unsurprisingly, Palace previous boy Wright notched halfway by way of the second half to take his tally to 100 for the north London facet, though his landmark aim was in the end left in useless because the Eagles held on for a well-known 2-1 win regardless of a nervy end to actually kick begin their season.
Luka Milivojevic vs Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s silky German Maestro regularly pops up within the quantity 10 function, drifting behind the striker and pulling strings in between the traces of midfield and assault, that means that Palace’s Serbian stalwart Luka Milivojevic would be the unfortunate man dealing with Ozil come Thursday night time.
Ozil’s aim in opposition to Liverpool displayed his unerring capability to ghost from virtually a statuesque begin right into a one on one place, a trait which may very simply throw off a person marker; the Eagles’ quantity 4 wants to pay attention from the primary whistle to the final.
If the Serb permits the previous Actual Madrid man to dictate the play and orchestrate issues for the Gunners, Wenger’s males have sufficient firepower up high to make Palace pay.
Hodgson nonetheless finds himself with out Mamadou Sakho while the Frenchman recovers from a calf harm, and also will be with out Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham for the London derby. Joel Ward can be overcoming a calf problem and would require a late health check.
Manchester United loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah could also be out there as soon as once more after a current hamstring grievance, while Christian Benteke is again once more after serving a one recreation ban.
For the Gunners, Wenger is with out a few key gamers. Nacho Monreal will probably be out for round two weeks with an ankle harm, whereas Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are each out of Thursday’s recreation with hamstring points.
Santi Cazorla can be out as he continues his rehabilitation from a long run harm.
Potential Crystal Palace Lineup: Speroni, Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Dann, Schlupp, Milivojevic, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Zaha, Benteke
Potential Arsenal Lineup: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette
On paper, this fixture has an Arsenal victory written throughout it, given the attacking skills at Wenger’s disposal in addition to Palace’s struggles to maintain clear sheets at Selhurst Park.
In actuality, the Three-Zero riot over Arsenal in south London again in April will probably be recent within the minds of many Arsenal followers and maybe the gamers; a day the place the Gunners’ followers had been booing their very own gamers and the ‘Wenger Out’ marketing campaign was spilling over.
For all their early season woes, Palace aren’t eight video games unbeaten by way of luck. The Eagles have some harmful gamers, and a flimsy Arsenal backline could also be unnerved by the physicality of the Eagles, Benteke particularly.
Maintain your eyes on this one, it might get fascinating.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-Three Arsenal