Article by Reece Weller – Follow @topbins_news
Saturday 20th January 2018 – Emitares Stadium – Kick Off 3pm
Palace were bottom of the table with no points and not a single goal after four games as Roy Hodgson was appointed as the new Eagles boss in September. Four months on and the seemingly inevitable doom for Palace has taken a complete U-turn, as the resurgence under the wisdom of Hodgson continues. The Eagles currently sit in 12th place with daylight and a 5-point cushion from the drop zone, accompanied by a healthy string of form that has seen them pick up maximum points from their last 2 games with just one loss in their last 12 outings, that loss coming against this weekends opponents Arsenal at the end of December.
The same positivity can not be said for the Gunners however after their disappointing defeat to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at the weekend, as the Cherries came out 2-1 victors. The Gunners fans have only seen their side pick up maximum points twice since the end of November as they sit in 6th position and 8 points adrift of the Champions League places.
Both teams may see departures and arrivals ahead of this weekends clash as Alexis Sanchez has reportedly agreed personal terms with Manchester United ahead of a move that could see Arsenal take on board Henrikh Mhykitarayan in a swap deal plus fees. Theo Walcott could also been on his way to Everton this week in a deal worth over £20 million.
Palace defender Pape Souare has been linked with a January loan move to Newcastle with an option to buy come the end of the season.
Palace have also been linked with a €15 million move for Fiorentina forward Khouma Babacar to help add to their firepower and a €4 million move for Getafe goalkeeper Vincent Guiaita which could both be completed by the weekend.
The Eagles will travel to north London with an air of confidence after their hard fought victory at home to Burnley last weekend whilst Arsenal will be hoping to use the home crowd to regain some confidence of their own with what is likely to be a fiery London derby.
Arsenal – Jack Wilshere is now back in the side after returning from injury to play at Bournemouth last weekend and pleasing the Arsenal faithful with an impressive display.
Alexis Sanchez will likely be left out of the match day squad with his impending move away. Mesut Ozil is still recovering after a late fitness test which saw him left out of the team last weekend but should be fit to face Palace this weekend.
Absentees will include Nacho Monreal (ankle) and Laurent Koscielney (Achilles) who are both still sidelined. Oliver Giroud is also ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Palace – Palace have been hit hard with injuries of late forcing Roy Hodgson to be looking to bring in up to seven players by the end of the window to help reinforce the side.
Andros Townsend (ankle) and Jeffrey Schlupp (knee) both looking to be out of action for long spells with Schlupp undergoing surgery this week and unlikely to make any return before the end of the season. Townsend however could be back in action in as soon as a month.
Summer signing Mamadou Sahko is still recovering from a calf injury and will be unlikely to make a return by Saturday. He is accompanied by Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is also sidelined. Palace will still be without long term absentees Connor Wickham, Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon all with ligament injuries.
Most Recent meeting: Palace 2-3 Arsenal – 28th December 2017
Predicted Team Lineups
Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette.
Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Cabaye, Zaha, Riedewald, Sako, Benteke.
Result Prediciton: Arsenal 1-1 Palace