Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview
Crystal Palace host Arsenal in the Premier League at Selhurst Park this evening (8.00pm kick-off UK time).
The match completes this round of Premier League fixtures.
Crystal Palace come into the match in 16th position in the table.
The Eagles are three points above the drop zone.
After four wins in a row, Palace were beaten 3-1 last time out by Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
Their relegation fight though has been boosted by the results over the weekend of the teams around them.
Hull City lost 3-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Swansea City lost 1-0 to West Ham United at the London Stadium.
Whilst Middlesbrough only drew 0-0 at home to Burnley on Saturday and bottom of the table Sunderland were beaten 3-0 by Manchester United at the Stadium of Light yesterday.
A win would for the Eagles would mean they equal their Premier League record of three consecutive home victories.
However, defeat would see them become the first team to lose seven consecutive top-flight home London derbies.
Arsenal come into tonight’s match in 6th place in the Premier League table.
If the weekend results were favourable for Palace, it was the opposite for Arsenal.
All the other teams in the top 7 won over the weekend.
The leaders Chelsea won 3-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday evening.
It means that the Blues maintain a seven point lead on second place Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Watford 4-0 at White Hart Lane at lunchtime on Saturday.
Third place Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon. The Reds are five points behind Spurs and nine points ahead of Arsenal.
4th place Manchester City beat Hull City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. They trail Liverpool by two points and are seven points ahead of the Gunners.
Manchester United leap-frogged the Gunners into 5th place with a 3-0 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light yesterday. They are now three points ahead of Arsenal.
Whilst 7th placed Everton’s 4-2 win over Leicester City at Goodison Park yesterday puts them on the same number of points as Arsenal. They trail the Gunners on goal difference having played three matches more.
Arsenal have two matches in hand on 4th placed Manchester City and three matches in hand on 3rd placed Liverpool.
So there is no room for further dropped points for Arsenal, who have only won two of their last seven-league matches (D1, L4).
The 3-0 win over West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium last time out was therefore very timely.
The Gunners will equal a club Premier League record of four consecutive away defeats if they lose.
They currently have 54 points, which is two more than at the same stage last season.
Crystal Palace have won only one of their 15 Premier League matches against Arsenal (D3 L11) and are winless in 12 against them.
The Gunners won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day, with Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick goal and a second from Alex Iwobi.
Arsenal have never lost an away Premier League match against Crystal Palace (W6 D5).
The Gunners haven’t lost away to the Eagles in the top-flight since November 1979.
Crystal Palace have just two wins in 33 top-flight matches against Arsenal (D9, L22).
Christian Benteke has scored 11 goals in the Premier League this season.
Nine of Benteke’s Premier League goals though have been away from home.
His two home goals were both in the 3-0 win against Southampton in December.
Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his previous three Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park.
He has scored five goals as a substitute in the top flight this season, more than any other player.
Sam Allardyce has lost nine of his last 10 Premier League games against Arsene Wenger.
This is what Allardyce had to say about his sides fight against relegation.
“Who can hold their nerve usually decides staying up. You’re into single figure games, the bell starts ringing. Time to stand up.
“It’s not ‘arguably’ we’ve got the hardest run-in, we have got the hardest run-in.
“If we hadn’t done what we’ve done [win 4], we’d be dead and buried now. This is tough, particularly mentally. Pressure builds.”
Arsene Wenger has never lost to Crystal Palace in the Premier League (W8, D3).
The only teams Arsene Wenger has faced more times in the Premier League without losing than Crystal Palace (11) are Leicester City (18) and Portsmouth (14).
This is what Arsene Wenger had to say about Arsenal poor run of form at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“That’s a little bit of the modern world,” he said. “All the conclusions are always definite, but sport is about your next performance. It’s down to you to change things and what it is to be professional is basically to focus on what is important and that means performance.
“We are in a position that is not very comfortable at the moment because it’s not where we want to be. But it has only one positive thing: we know exactly what we need to do, go into the next game and win it. So the line of contact is very clear.
“Overall I think we had of course a hiccup in recent weeks and what is important now is for us to move on, focus again, keep the way we want to play football in mind and give absolutely everything in every game.
“We came out of a very difficult period and what we have shown is that we are united and focused and determined to do things right again. That was questioned for a while and I think we gave the right response. We have to show that focus now until the end of the season. There’s still a lot to fight for. That is what’s at stake basically.”
Yohan Cabaye (calf strain) joins Palace’s lengthy injury list and is out of tonight’s match.
Patrick van Aanholt, Scott Dann, James Tomkins, Pape Souare, Connor Wickham, Loic Remy and Fraizer Campbell are all injured.
Emi Martinez will continue in-goal, as Petr Cech (calf) and David Ospina (back) have not recovered from injury.
Laurent Koscielny will miss his second match with an Achilles injury.
Francis Coquelin will return to the match-day squad.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: G Beswick, J Collin
Fourth official: N Swarbrick
Arsenal to win 3-1.