Crystal Palace vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and prediction: Gunners could come unstuck at Selhurst Park
Score draw @ 4/1 with Betfair
Arsenal to win and BTTS @ 12/5 with Betfair
Wilfred Zaha to score anytime @ 10/3 with Betfair
Both Derby County and Sunderland, who have the two worst points tallies of all time in Premier League, enjoyed better starts to their respective record breaking seasons than Crystal Palace this term. After just seven games, the Eagles had no points, no goals, but were on their second manager. Roy Hodgson has woken them up from a terrible slumber, and now they are a real threat, especially in this game against Arsenal.
Frank de Boer couldn’t inspire a tactical change in his side; they were neither effective in possession nor organised at the back and good on the counter. That has been the hallmark of their play over the years, and Hodgson has taken them back to basics, as evidenced by their 3-0 win at Leicester last weekend. Amazingly, they were the first goals his team had netted on the road. At Selhurst Park, though, they have been impressive ever since they beat Chelsea in mid-October.
We can see Arsenal taking control of this game, especially with their attacking players, but the score draw is certainly good value at 4/1.
Palace climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time this season last week after that win at the King Power Stadium. It signalled a return to normality for striker Christian Benteke, who had suffered abuse from his own fans after demanding to take a match-deciding penalty in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago and missing. Over the last six games, at the time of writing, before the weekend fixtures before Palace head to bottom side Swansea, they have won three and lost none. In fact, they are unbeaten since the start of November when Spurs narrowly edged them out at Wembley.
The Gunners have been going through a bit of a strange spell themselves; though they finally showed some flair in front of goal against Liverpool, Arsene Wenger’s side had only narrowly beaten Newcastle and West Ham at home, in the Carabao Cup, 1-0, as well as drawing at the Hammers in the league and salvaging a late point against Southampton at St Mary’s. They lost at Selhurst Park last season, mainly because they were outfought; that, simply, cannot happen again or they will fall further behind the Champions League chasing pack.
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Benteke will miss the game through suspension after amassing five yellow cards, which is a huge blow to Hodgson and Palace. Other than that, though, only Connor Wickham and Chung-yong Lee will be missing. The latter’s return date is not yet known, but Wickham should be able to return on New Year’s Eve.
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Aaron Ramsey continues to miss our through injury, offering Jack Wilshere the chance to prove his own fitness with a run of games, which he is currently doing. Ramsey should be back in January, but Santi Cazorla’s career could be in doubt with his foot problem.