Crystal Palace (7-7-7) vs Arsenal (6-9-6)
Premier League: Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 7:30 pm ET (Selhurst Park)
Line and Odds: Crystal Palace +310/Arsenal -125 — Over: -114; Under: +104
FREE EPL PICK CRYSTAL PALACE vs ARSENAL
The Gunners visit Selhurst Park looking for their third consecutive win in all competitions while Palace look to bounce back from FA Cup reversal
Crystal Palace host Arsenal in Matchday 22 of the Premier League on Saturday. The home team currently sit in ninth place, a position they will definitely be content with, one above Arsenal, who thanks to a poor start sit in the final top-half slot. There is hope for the visitors however, as they look an improved side from what they have been for much of the season under new manager and former player, Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard masterminded a much-needed 2-0 victory over Manchester United before guiding a youthful side to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leeds. Palace, who were also in action in the FA Cup, saw themselves dumped out of the competition by the same score-line by Derby County and will look to bounce back from the defeat.
Palace have been a dark-horse of sorts this season, thanks largely to their own impressive performances and partly to regular top-half teams like Arsenal, Everton and Burnley slipping up. Take nothing away from them, however, as they have also taken points against sides in the top-half. Draws against Arsenal (away) and Wolves (home) and a win against United have been highlights on the results side, but they were overcome with great difficulty by the likes of Liverpool and Leicester City. Palace have collected 28 points from their 21 games so far. Unless a major collapse takes place, they should eclipse their 49-point tally from last season which helped them finish 12th.
Arsenal will be looking to make it two wins out of two in the League at Selhurst Park. If they do manage to come away with three points, it will be their first string of consecutive victories since the beginning of August. Under Arteta, the Gunners have displayed a lot more intensity, pose a genuine threat going forward and are fighting hard to win the ball back. Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka, two players who were frozen out by former manager Unai Emery, have been drafted back into the thick of the action, and seem to be experiencing a rebirth of sorts in an Arsenal shirt under Arteta. Ozil in particular was fantastic against United, pulling all the strings in midfield and making multiple ball recoveries. The likes of Lucas Torreira, who is back in central defensive midfield after Emery’s failed attempt at making him a number 10, big-money signing Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz, who was also exceptional against United, are all looking more confident. Arsenal and Arteta will know that they will have to be switched on at all times against a Palace side against which has troubled Liverpool, Chelsea and United on their way to a top-half spot in the table.
Cover the Spread 365 Soccer Betting Trends:-
– Palace are 5-2-3 ATS in their last 10 games in the Premier League this season
– Palace are 5-1-4 ATS at home in the Premier League this season
– Palace are 6-14-1 O/U in the Premier League this season
– Arsenal are 3-7 ATS in the last 10 games in the Premier League this season
– Arsenal are 4-6 ATS away from home in the Premier League this season
– Arsenal are 8-10-3 O/U in the Premier League this season
Free EPL Prediction Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
Last time out
The two teams clashed at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in late October. The game ended in a draw, with Arsenal then under Emery, netting twice in the opening ten minutes through their centre-backs, David Luiz and Sokratis. However, Palace pulled one back before half-time through a Luka Milivojevic penalty and Jordan Ayew levelled the scores with a goal less than ten minutes into the second half.
The match was, however, overshadowed by a different incident. Granit Xhaka, Arsenal’s captain then, yelled abuses at the fans after they booed his slow movement towards the dugout when being substituted, before ripping off his shirt and heading down the tunnel. The Swiss was then stripped off of his captaincy and even failed to make it to the squad for a couple of games. However, he is back in the team now under Arteta and will be hoping to make the game at Selhurst Park memorable for different and hopefully, positive reasons.
Jordan Ayew is Palace’s top goal-scorer in the Premier League this season with five goals and will have to be at his best if Palace have to break down an Arsenal side that have looked more convincing at the back of late. The Ghanaian forward scored the last time the two teams met at the Emirates as well and will be looking to get back on the scoresheet, having failed to net against Norwich, Southampton and Derby County, after scoring a 90th-minute winner against West Ham on Matchday 19.
Vicente Guaita will also have to be in good nick if Palace are to secure a positive result against Arsenal. The Gunners boast of a phenomenal front-line, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Pepe and Ozil all expected to start and Gabriel Martinelli on the bench. Guaita has proven his worth between the posts time and again and will be expecting a tough challenge. Beyond his shot-stopping abilities however, he will also have to play an important role for Palace to play out from the back and will also need to deliver some good long-balls for the forwards if they are to get past Arsenal and score.
Mesut Ozil will be the most important cog in the Arsenal machine. The German will need to be at his creative peak and can count on the men playing ahead of him to supply the finishing touch. Arteta’s appointment seems to have given Ozil the freedom he needs to create his works of art and after strong showings against both Chelsea and Arsenal, he will look to go one ahead and score or assist a goal against Palace. If he does, it would be a much-needed confidence boost for the Gunners and for himself personally as well.
Lucas Torreira is another man who will be crucial if Arsenal are to get a result at Palace. The diminutive Uruguayan has bossed the defensive midfield in the last few matches and has also proven to be a threat going forward. If Palace manager Roy Hodgson persists with the 4-5-1 formation he has used in many games, Torreira is bound to have his work cut out against a packed midfield. However, his talent and ability to shield the ball and perfectly time his tackles should help Arsenal not only counter the Palace midfield, but also create chances from the spaces that open up.
Palace are facing an injury crisis of sorts. Upfront, Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer are all injured, but Christian Benteke could be fit in time for the match-up against Arsenal while Wilfried Zaha, who did not play against Derby could also feature. In defense, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward, Scott Dann and Jairo Riedewald are all side-lined due to injury. In midfield, Victor Camarasa will not feature due to a suspected calf strain, while Luka Milivojevic is ineligible to play after picking up a red card against Derby.
Predicted Line-up: Guaita; Woods, Tomkins, Cahill, Kelly; Zaha, McArthur, Kouyate, McCarthy, Ayew; Benteke.
The injury front is much more promising for Arsenal. Callum Chambers and Kieran Tierney are the only players who are guaranteed to miss out, while Hector Bellerin is unlikely to feature as he recovers from a thigh problem.
Predicted Line-up: Leno; Kolasinac, Luiz, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles; Torreira, Xhaka; Aubameyang, Ozil, Pepe; Lacazette.