Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick off: 1:30PM
Arsenal will be looking for their 12th straight win in all competitions when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League this afternoon.
The Gunners have won their last seven in the league to move into fourth position and enter this weekend’s fixtures just two points off the top of the division.
It would be fair to say that there were eyebrows raised when Unai Emery replaced Arsene Wenger as head coach of the Gunners ahead of the 2018-19 campaign. After all, Emery lacked experience of English football, and did not exactly flourish during his time in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.
There were more questions than answers when Arsenal lost to Manchester City and Chelsea in their first two matches of the campaign, but the Gunners have been perfect across three separate competitions since then.
Indeed, Thursday’s 1-0 success at Sporting Lisbon was their third Europa League triumph this season, and they also progressed past Brentford in the League Cup. The Premier League is where Arsenal simply must improve this season, however, and they have won their last seven in the top flight.
The run started against West Ham United on August 25, and they have since beaten Cardiff City, Newcastle United, Everton, Watford, Fulham and Leicester City to move into fourth position. Emery’s side are just two points off Premier League leaders Manchester City as it stands, and could actually move to the top of the division if other results go for them this weekend.
Arsenal lost 11 of their 19 away Premier League matches last season but have won their last three league matches on the road, scoring 10 times in the process. There are still question marks over the team’s defensive strength, but the capital outfit have played some wonderful football down the other end of the field.
There will, of course, be tougher tests. It has been a nice run of games for Arsenal, and they have fixtures with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to come. The club’s supporters have a team to be proud of once again, however, and a 12th straight success this weekend would equal their best run since October 2007.
On the other hand, Crystal Palace have two wins, one draw, six defeats after nine matches of the 2018-19 campaign, with a total of seven points leaving them in 15th position. The supporters remain onside, but a fourth straight Premier League defeat this weekend would lead to a number of questions being asked.
Worryingly for Palace, they have not been victorious in the top flight since beating Huddersfield Town in the middle of September. Since then, they have drawn with Newcastle United, in addition to losing three straight games to Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton.
That will be a concern to head coach Roy Hodgson, especially considering that his team’s next four in the Premier League are against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. It is a terrible run of fixtures for a team in need of a win, and they might well find themselves in the relegation zone entering the month of December.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Schlupp, Zaha, Townsend.
Arsenal possible XI: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Soktatis, Lichtsteiner, Xhaka, Torreira, Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.