Crystal Palace Preview: Time to Go Eight Points Clear
Crystal Palace visit the Emirates this afternoon shortly after the dismissal of their manager, and ex-Gunner, Patrick Vieira, following a dismal run of form that saw the club winless in 12 Premier League games. In that barren spell, Crystal Palace has amassed five points, four goals and 26 shots on target during that period are all the lowest in the Premier League in 2023. Crystal Palace in currently languishing in 12th place with 27 points, with a goal difference of -13, but surprisingly, the club is just three points ahead of West Ham in 18th place, and the Hammers have a goal difference of -10. Sandwiched in between them are Wolves (13th, -19 GD, 27 points), Leeds (14th, -9 GD, 26 points), Everton (15th, -18 GD, 26 points), Nottingham Forest (16th, -27 GD, 26 points) and Leicester (17th, -9 GD, 25 points). Even the other relegation candidates under West Ham, Bournemouth (19th, -29 GD, 24 points) and Southampton (20th, -23 GD, 23 points) are not far off from Crystal Palace, so the margins are really tight at the relegation zone.
Arsenal, on the other hand, sit pretty at the top of the Premier League, five points ahead of Manchester City, who progressed further in the FA Cup following the demolition of Burnley in Vincent Kompany’s homecoming, and with a win against Crystal Palace today, Arsenal can have an unassailable eight point lead, before heading into the final international break of the season. The Gunners are still licking their wounds from the penalty shootout heartache against Sporting CP, which sent them crashing out of the Europa League, so all focus remains on winning the remaining 11 games to earn the club’s first league title in 19 years.
Despite Crystal Palace’s shitty form, they have not been beaten at the Emirates on any of their past four visits, drawing three and winning one. However, Crystal Palace have only won two of their 22 league away fixtures against Arsenal: 2-1 at Highbury in October 1994 and 3-2 at Emirates Stadium in April 2019. That win at the Emirates proved costly, at it messed up the Gunners Champions League qualification plans under Unai Emery.
If the Gunners win Crystal Palace today, the club will equal last season’s final total of 69 points with 10 matches still to play. This shows the considerable amount of progress achieved this season, and the fans are hopeful that the Gunners go all the way to get the prized asset, the Premier League trophy.
To team news, Arsenal suffered two casualties in the loss to Sporting CP with Takehiro Tomiyasu suffering a knee injury and was seen leaving the Emirates Stadium on crutches, which is never a good thing. While we still await the results of the scans of the knee, to know the extent of the injury, I highly doubt that we would see Tomiyasu again this season, which adds some measure of pressure with Ben White, being the only available right back for selection. William Saliba also had some discomfort on his back, and he’s likely to sit today’s game out, with Rob Holding taking his place in the first team. There is also the option of Jakub Kiwior, but I doubt if Arteta will be throwing him into the deep end. Hopefully, Saliba will be fit after the international break. Eddie Nketiah and Mo Elneny still remain unavailable for selection.
Crystal Palace are still having a goalkeeping conundrum with Vicente Guaita still recovering from a hamstring injury and his backup option, Sam Johnstone, suffering from a calf problem. This would mean that the youngster, Joseph Whitworth, will have another run out in goal, and will be hoping to be protected by his defenders. Let’s just hope that the spirit of Antonio Adan has been vanquished from the Emirates, because the veteran Sporting CP goalie was the sole reason Arsenal isn’t playing Juventus in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. With Albert Sambi Lokonga currently on loan to Crystal Palace from Arsenal, he’s unavailable for selection. His fellow central midfield partners, Will Hughes and James McArthur are also doubts following bouts of illness.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Predicted Lineups
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, G. Jesus, Saka.
Crystal Palace: Whitworth; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Milivojevic, Doucoure; Zaha, Edouard, Olise
Injury / Suspension Updates
Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), William Saliba (back)
Crystal Palace: Vicente Guaita (hamstring), Sam Johnstone (calf), Will Hughes (illness), James McArthur (illness), Albert Sambi Lokonga (ineligible)
- Last Five Games: W W D W D
- Last Result: Arsenal 1-1 Sporting CP (Xhaka 19′ | Goncalves 62′)
- Leading Goalscorer: Gabriel Martinelli (12)
Crystal Palace Form
- Last Five Games: D D L L L
- Last Result: Brighton 1-0 Crystal Palace (March 15′)
- Leading Goalscorer: Wilfried Zaha (6)
Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 0 victory.
Kick Off – 3.00pm (GMT +1) at Emirates Stadium.
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Posted on March 19, 2023, in Arsenal, Football, Match Preview, Premier League and tagged Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Football, Premier League. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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