To be played on Saturday 26th October 2013 at 12.45. Venue: Selhurst Park, London
Palace will be without a manager after Ian Holloway left the club on Wednesday night. His position looked precarious after his side suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Fulham on Monday evening.
Arsenal will look to capitalise on these struggles and continue their good domestic form. Losing to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night was a blow but Arsene Wenger’s men will know they have more than enough to come away with all three points.
I can only see this game going one way and that will mean Arsenal will take all the points back to North London. It will set up a tough fortnight of fixtures for the Gunners when they face Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund and Manchester United in the space of 12 days.
Crystal Palace have no fresh injury concerns but they still have a number of players out with longer term injuries.
Arsenal on the other hand have some concern over Jack Wilshere after he was taken off on Tuesday night having suffered a knock to his ankle.
Mathieu Flamini is expected back after missing the Dortmund game with a concussion while Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are still a few weeks away from full fitness.
Aaron Ramsey is top scorer for Arsenal with 5 goals, while Dwight Gayle leads the charts for Crystal Palace with 2 goals in the league.
Crystal Palace’s home record: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 3, Goals For 4, Goals Against 8
Arsenal’s away record: Played 4, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 0, Goals For 9, Goals Against 4
Crystal Palace had 46% of the possession in their last match. A 4-1 loss at home to Fulham
Arsenal had 56% of the possession in their last match. A 4-1 win at home to Norwich.
Crystal Palace’s last six games: 1 win, 5 losses
Arsenal’s last six games: 5 wins, 1 draw
Five players to watch:
The Arsenal and Poland number one has had a resurgence in form over the past few weeks and is now brushing away any thoughts of being dropped. He was dropped last season for the trip to Bayern Munich and this seems to have been the reality check he needed and is all the better for it. If all goes to plan he won’t see much action against Palace but he will always have to be alert for any chances that may come his way.
Wilshere has showed signs over the past few games of getting back to his best form that we saw so often before an ankle injury kept him out for over a year. Expect Palace to try and smother Özil so it will be his responsibility to push the team forward, something he does very well.
Since joining Arsenal in 2010 from Lorient, Koscielny has gone from strength to strength and now he can lay claim to being the best Gunners defender. He has a knack of intercepting the ball just at the right time. He works well with Mertesacker at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and their partnership has been a big part of their excellent league form.
Palace’s goalkeeper will have to be on top form in this match and he can expect to be kept busy for the entire 90 minutes. If Palace were to get anything out of this fixture then he would have to be on top of his game. A tough day ahead for him and the defence.
The young striker has been one of Palace’s bright spots this season and he will have to be ready to take any chances he gets against Arsenal on Saturday afternoon. He may not got many sights of goal but it is crucial that whatever gets find the back of the net. Arsenal will have a lot of the ball so he will be in for an afternoon of chasing shadows. But the hard work may pay off.
Last time they met: N/A
What is your prediction for the game?
image: © Tom Brogan