On August 16th, Arsenal travel south to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. After their first London derby of the season didn’t go so well, Arsene Wenger’s men will look to bounce back strong in the South of London. Palace will not go down easily by any means though. After a 3-1 win over Norwich last week, the south Londoners will look to make it two wins from two and compound their north London neighbours’ misery. After a hugely disappointing start to the season, the Arsenal players know they need to bounce back and will look to put in a much improved performance.
Despite being only a week into the season, both teams have a few injury concerns in their squad. While they aren’t in a classic Arsenal injury crisis, Arsene Wenger is a bit short on his bench due to injuries to some key members of his squad. Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are both out for a few weeks with knee and ankle injuries respectively. They’ll also be without Tomas Rosicky after the Czech underwent knee surgery and will be out for at least two months.
Palace are also going to be a bit short for the match with four players missing. Former Gunner Marouane Chamakh’s fitness will come up a bit short, with him due for a return next weekend. Julian Speroni will be out for around two more weeks with a finger injury. Both Kwesi Appiah and Frazier Campbell are out with long term injuries.
- Crystal Palace have not beat Arsenal since October 1st 1994.
- Arsenal have won the last five matches against Palace by a combined score of 13-3.
- Palace were the only team in the Premier League last season to take more points away from home than at home.
- Despite only having 37% possession, Palace managed to score three goals, register more shots on target than Norwich, and had a higher expected goals than the Canaries.
Crystal Palace: Yohan Cabaye
In a summer of surprising transfers, one of the most surprising ones was Cabaye to Crystal Palace. After struggling to make an impression at French Champions PSG, the French international looked for a move away, preferably to the Premier League. He shocked everyone when he announced that he was moving to South London to join Crystal Palace. After his impressive stint with Newcastle a few seasons ago, big things are expected of the Frenchman at Palace. He got off to a good start with a goal on his debut. He’ll hope for more of the same on Sunday. If Palace are going to orchestrate this upset, a lot of it will come down to Cabaye’s ability to control the game.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
After the loss to West Ham, there were plenty of Arsenal players blamed for the performance. Naturally, one of them was Mesut Ozil. While the German was not one of the worst players for Arsenal, he’ll certainly need to improve his performance this weekend. Arsene Wenger needs a big performance from his men and Ozil will need to be a part of that. After struggling to create any clear cut chances vs West Ham, the German will need to show off his creative genius on Sunday.
Over the last few years, Arsenal have been pretty good at bouncing back from defeats. They have also taken 16 points from their last 18 away matches, so both of those suggest that the Gunners will come away from this with a victory. However, Palace are not a side to be over looked, and have the talent in their side to get a victory here. I’m going for an Arsenal win, but it will be a very difficult match for them.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal