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Premier League | Gameweek 21
Jan 20, 2024 at 12.30pm UK
Emirates Stadium
CP

Arsenal
5 - 0
Crystal Palace

Magalhaes (11'), Henderson (37' og.), Trossard (59'), Martinelli (90+4', 90+5')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Returning from a two-week hiatus with the intention of ending a three-game losing run, Arsenal are back in Premier League action on Saturday lunchtime, when London rivals Crystal Palace stop over at the Emirates.

The Gunners have been soaking up the Dubai sun since being dumped out of the FA Cup by Liverpool in the third round, while the Eagles are also reeling from a knockout defeat, losing their replay to Everton on Wednesday night.


Match preview

From topping the Premier League table on Christmas Day to finding themselves at risk of dropping out of the top four entirely, Arsenal's winter attacking woes have come to the fore throughout the festive period, and Mikel Arteta's troops have now been punished for such alarming profligacy on more than one occasion.

After producing toothless attacking performances in successive top-flight defeats to West Ham United and Fulham, Arsenal passed up a surfeit of opportunities to draw first blood against Liverpool in the FA Cup, until Jakub Kiwior managed to make the net ripple in front of the Reds fans.

Unfortunately for the Pole, he sent the away end into elation as he inadvertently headed Trent Alexander-Arnold's free kick into the net before Luis Diaz offered Arsenal a lesson in ruthlessness with a thunderous finish into the roof of the goal, leading Arteta to admit that his side may have developed a mental block when it comes to finishing chances.

Pleas from Gooners to splash the cash on a new number nine in January are likely to fall on deaf ears - unless an audacious loan move for Karim Benzema comes to fruition - leaving the onus on Arteta and co to pull fourth-placed Arsenal, who are only above Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference with a game in hand, out of their offensive rut.

With just one win to show from seven matches in all tournaments - and even then wasted chances nearly proved costly in a 2-0 beating of Brighton & Hove Albion - Arsenal have never endured a worse seven-game run under Arteta, and they have now lost their last two Premier League London derbies after going unbeaten in 17 capital clashes before that.

A lack of killer instinct was also the root of Crystal Palace's problems in their FA Cup opener with Everton, who dug in for a goalless draw with 10 men at Selhurst Park to add another fixture into the calendar for both sides, which was played out on Wednesday evening at the Toffees' Goodison base.

Another drab draw was not beyond the realm of possibility between two sides devoid of confidence and conviction - especially in the final third - but Andre Gomes's 42nd-minute effort was all that Sean Dyche's men required to prolong their cup journey, and the disgruntled Palace fans made their feelings known in the second period.

Hodgson's decision to substitute the effervescent Eberechi Eze early in the second half did not go down at all well with the travelling fans, although the veteran coach stated that such a change was a necessity given the imminent 12.30pm kickoff, where 14th-placed Palace will bid to increase their five-point buffer to the drop zone.

The visitors' final top-flight fixture of 2023 did end in a London derby success, where a 3-1 beating of Brentford ended their abysmal eight-game winless run in the Premier League, but the Eagles have now gone nine league matches without shutting the opposition out.

A tally of six London derby points in the 2023-24 Premier League is also the lowest of its kind, and after restricting Arsenal to one win from eight meetings between October 2018 and April 2022, Palace have been beaten in their last three contests with the Gunners, although only a Martin Odegaard penalty separated the teams in August.

Arsenal Premier League form:


Arsenal form (all competitions):


Crystal Palace Premier League form:


Crystal Palace form (all competitions):


Team News

A sight for sore Arsenal eyes, ACL victim Jurrien Timber was captured running on the Dubai pitches and undertaking individual ball work during the Gunners' winter training camp, but it will still be a while before the Dutchman can be considered for a first-team return.

Thomas Partey (thigh) and Fabio Vieira (groin) are not expected back until next month either, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny are both away on international duty, and a question mark continues to hang over the head of Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf).

Should the Ukrainian fail to recover, Kiwior ought to be given a shot at redemption in the left-back spot, while Gabriel Jesus appears to have fully recovered from the knee niggle which kept him out of the loss to Liverpool.

Meanwhile, erstwhile Arsenal defender Rob Holding - who swapped the Emirates for Selhurst Park over the summer - will miss out on a reunion with his former club due to his ankle problem, while rumoured Gunners target Michael Olise is still out with a thigh injury, and no date has been pencilled in for his return.

Cheick Doucoure (Achilles) and Joel Ward (thigh) are also confined to the treatment room, while Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh) also missed out on a place in the squad on Wednesday and still has one final hurdle to clear before he can return too.

Jordan Ayew is also unavailable due to AFCON commitments, and the Ghana international is one of only two players to have been fouled more times than Bukayo Saka in the 2023-24 Premier League, the other being Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes.


Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Eze, Richards, Lerma, Schlupp; Edouard, Mateta


We say: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace

A goal-shy Arsenal could not have wished for a more opportune time to relax and reset after a gruelling and ultimately unsuccessful winter period, and the expected return of Jesus will also give the hosts a bit more bite in the final third.

In contrast, Palace's attacking deficiencies seem set to continue while Olise remains in the medical bay, and with midweek fatigue also working against them, Hodgson's men should fall short as Arsenal reignite their title charge.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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