Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Top-flight games are on the agenda in Europe pretty much every day, and we’re heading to the Emirates on Thursday for this Premier League between Arsenal and Crystal Palace.
It’s a mouthwatering clash between two teams which haven’t had it all their own way this season. But while Arsenal have just embarked on a four-match winning run, all is not well at Selhurst Park and the Eagles are constantly looking over their shoulders.
All smiles at Arsenal
After a poor start to the campaign, the Gunners have hit the performance levels that head coach Mikel Arteta has been striving for.
They have won three league games on the trot, scoring eight times, which is more than they scored in the previous 12 league matches combined.
Striker Alexandre Lacazette has been in good form and now has seven goals to his name, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the FA Cup victory against Newcastle on Saturday and that might be the spark the skipper needs to go on a scoring spree of his own.
Arteta is likely to start with the same team which beat West Brom last week and that means another chance for 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe in the pocket just behind the front two.
Back in midfield, there’s a return to fitness of deadline day signing Thomas Partey who is likely to start on the bench.
Looking further forward, rumours suggest that Arteta might be about to recall Matteo Guendouzi from his loan to Hertha Berlin to strengthen his hand in the run-in.
But the man currently receiving rave reviews is wing-back Kieran Tierney who has great poise in defence and is a real threat up front, looking for his third assist in a row.
Things are looking brighter at the Emirates and the pre-match Premier League 2021 betting odds reflect just that.
Not so at Crystal Palace
While Arteta is in charge of a happier camp, it seems in South London Roy Hodgson has a more worrying situation to deal with.
At the last time of counting, 17 of Crystal Palace’s first team squad have just six months to run on their contracts, which is surely a precarious position for the club to be in.
That number doesn’t include talisman Wilfried Zaha who is signed up until 2023, but he is the most saleable asset at the club and speculation mounts a potential departure in every transfer window.
Palace’s biggest goal threat comes from crosses and Zaha is their best chance to breach the Gunners’ back line. But his constant hints that he’d rather be elsewhere can’t be good for the Eagles’ morale.
He’s an Arsenal fan and recently spoke about talks he had with the Gunners when Unai Emery was boss, but the club signed Nicolas Pepe instead.
“Obviously, it was up the club who they chose, and they chose Pepe over me,” said Zaha in an interview.
That’s not exactly what you’d want to hear if you’re supporting the Eagles on Thursday!
Elsewhere, attacking midfielder Eberechi Eze has made a big impact at Selhurst Park since his transfer from QPR, making two assists and scoring twice.
However, he has found himself in hot water after photos emerged of him at his former club’s FA Cup tie with Fulham when he was in close contact with others and without a mask.
That will annoy Hodgson intensely after captain Luka Milivojevic breached COVID-19 rules by attending a party on New Year’s Eve.
But for all the niggling problems, the Eagles have a talented squad and they almost won a priceless three points against Leicester City. They need to rediscover that form or it could be a long night at the Emirates.
These two London teams have met 20 times in the Premier League era and the Gunners have had much the better of the matchup – winning 11, drawing six, and losing just three.
In the 2019/20 season, both meetings ended in a draw – 2-2 at the Emirates when Palace came back from a two-goal deficit, and a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park last January when Jordan Ayew canceled out Aubameyang’s opener.
Recent form favours the hosts. Arsenal are on a winning streak of four and would be keen on to add more positive Premier League 2021 results
Meanwhile, the Eagles have won just one of the last six, with a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sheffield United.
|Arsenal vs Crystal Palace||First Half 1X2 Arsenal @ 2.13|
|January 15, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
Arsenal are at 1.51 to win this game here at SBOTOP, with the draw at 3.74 while Crystal Palace are at 5.99.
In two of their three recent league victories against West Brom and Chelsea, the Gunners were 2-0 up at half-time.
And with momentum in their favour, I’m backing them to leave the Eagles behind by the break.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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