Mikel Arteta will look to continue Arsenal’s fine recent form when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday (8pm kick-off).
The Gunners have recovered in fine fashion after suffering a concerning run of seven games without victory, including a defeat in the North London derby, winning their past four across all competitions. But they face a Palace side in a bit of form themselves.
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Where to watch Arsenal vs Crystal Palace on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League
- US: NBCSN
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Scoreline prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace
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Arsenal vs Crystal Palace build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
At one stage Arteta’s job looked untenable but the young tactician has weathered the storm and navigated some turbulent waters in recent weeks, winning each of the club’s last four games, including an FA Cup third-round win over Newcastle on Saturday.
However, Palace have become somewhat of a bogey team for their north London opponents in recent times, with the Eagles unbeaten in four against Arsenal, including a 3-2 triumph at the Emirates in April 2019. And Roy Hodgson himself has had to steady the ship in recent weeks, much like Arteta in the opposite dugout, having suffered humiliating defeats at the hands Liverpool (7-0) and 10-man Aston Villa (3-0) last month.
The Eagles have claimed points off Leicester and Sheffield United in the last two games to sit 14th in the table, but will be licking their wounds after an FA Cup exit to Wolves over the weekend, and they enter this contest against an Arsenal side who have earned more points in Premier League London derbies this season than any of the other five sides from the capital (nine).
- Arsenal (vs Newcastle): Leno; Cedric, Luiz, Mari, Tierney; Elneny, Willock; Pepe, Willian, Nelson; Aubameyang.
- Crystal Palace (vs Wolves): Butland; Clyne, Tomkins, Sakho*, Van Aanholt; Riedewald, McCarthy; Ayew, Eze; Benteke, Batshuayi.
Gabriel Martinelli sustained another injury in the warm-up to the Newcastle game at the weekend and now faces an anxious wait to learn to seriousness of his latest set-back. However, in more positive news for Arteta, he could welcome back Thomas Partey on Thursday, while centre-back Gabriel is doubtful.
For Palace, Mamadou Sakho picked up an injury against Wolves and has been ruled out. He will join Jeffrey Schlupp, Nathan Ferguson, Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham on the sidelines, while Gary Cahill and Scott Dann face late fitness tests.
Players to watch:
- Arsenal: Having been bestowed the No. 7 shirt over the summer after a breakthrough campaign, Bukayo Saka has truly lived up to the jersey. The teenage sensation has been involved in a goal in each of his last three Premier League appearances, scoring twice and creating an assist. Should he register another direct contribution on Thursday then he will become the first teenager since Cesc Fabregas (also with Arsenal in April 2007) to be involved in a goal in four straight Premier League games. For a player laden with such talent, that is a milestone very much within his reach.
- Crystal Palace: Arsenal have conceded at least once in each of their last 11 Premier League home games, so Palace will know opportunities will come their way, and that means giving Wilfried Zaha carte blanche to operate freely when he gets into the final third. The Ivorian was once the subject of fervent interest from Arsenal, who ultimately demurred at his price tag and averted their gaze to Nicolas Pepe instead, a rookie error in hindsight. Where Pepe has just two goals to his name and not a single assist in the league this season, Zaha has eight to his tally and a further two assists, and he will be looking to show the Gunners what they missed out on this Thursday.
Premier League 2020/21 recent form:
- Arsenal: WWWLD
- Crystal Palace: WDLLD
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