some

Arsenal

V

Emirates

20/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

V

Emirates

20/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

In a sentence: Arsenal host Crystal Palace this weekend, with neutrals hoping for another exciting clash between the two.

Last time: One of the most entertaining games of the season saw Arsenal’s comfortable first half-lead erased by Andros Townsend in the 49th minute. Two quick-fire Alexis Sanchez goals appeared to put the match out of Palace’s hands, only for a 89th minute header from James Tompkins to make for a thrilling four minutes of injury time.

This time: Arsenal are favourites at 1/2, with a draw at 15/4 and a Crystal Palace win at 9/2.

You might remember: Last season saw Crystal Palace’s first win against Arsenal in over a decade, with Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic contributing to a 3-0 win. Arsenal’s previous defeat to Palace was in 1994 when Ian Wright’s finish wasn’t enough to come back following two goals from John Salako.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Alexandre Lacazette has the chance to show Arsenal won’t miss Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil if both do leave the club

Few would have expected it early on in the season, but Crystal Palace have picked up more points than Arsenal over the past two months. Having set the record for the worst ever start to an English professional football season, the Eagles now sit in twelfth place, and will be ready to compete with the Gunners this weekend.

Arsenal are 1/2 to win on Saturday, having done so in the reverse fixture, away from home. Despite the Gunners’ poor recent form, a return for Laurent Kocielny will have a significant impact in defence, allowing the attacking players more freedom to get about their job.

Crystal Palace are 9/2 to win, and given their recent form, they will fancy their chances. Without Ozil and Sanchez, Arsenal are a much less offensively potent side, and with Bakary Sako scoring in his last two games, Palace will feel free to go at Wenger’s defence, in front of a discontented Emirates stadium.

A draw is 15/4 which may be justified given that the two sides are playing at roughly the same level at the moment.

Alexandre Lacazette is the favourite to score at evens. Without a goal in nine games, the French forward is still Arsenal’s top scorer, after a strong start to the season. If Sanchez does indeed leave the club this January, Lacazette will be Arsenal’s primary attacking threat, and could restore some confidence by scoring on Saturday.

Wilfred Zaha is 16/5 to score anytime, and is Palace’s joint top scorer, alongside Milivojevic. Having missed the early season due to injury, the winger caused absolute havoc against Arsenal back in December, and made the assists for Townsend’s goal. There does, however, remain a question over how well Zaha fits into a 4-4-2, which Hodgson fielded last weekend against Burnley.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Luka Molivojevic. The midfielder will likely start alongside Yohan Cabaye in Palace’s midfield, and scored a classy goal against Southampton a few weeks ago. Having scored last season against Arsenal, and with four goals to his name already this campaign, the Serbian will be full of confidence on Saturday. Milivojevic is 5/1 to score anytime.

2

We fancy:

An Arsenal win and Jack Wilshire to score at 15/2. The midfielder has shown an upturn in form even as his club has struggled, and could drag Arsenal by the neck to victory.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Lacazette to score a hat-trick at 33/1. The forward started well after his summer move but tailed off and amid the uncertainty over Ozil and Alexis, it’s time he came to the fore.

Written by Greg Murray

Greg Murray focused on watching football rather than playing it after realising he wasn’t going to be the next Gianfranco Zola. Writing prolifically on Italian football while keeping an eye on the game around the world, Greg has also turned his pen to the aviation industry and the betting market.