Crystal Palace have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net to start the season and therefore have struggled to get points. Only Huddersfield Town have scored fewer goals to start the season, leading Palace to lose six of their first nine league matches. Their defense has been pretty good, but if they don’t start scoring soon, they will see themselves sucked into a relegation race.
Arsenal have won 11 straight matches in all competitions. There have more than a few rough performances in that 11 game stretch, but they’ve managed to win them all and have had some improved performances in the last few matches. If Unai Emery’s men can start performing like they have been recently and continue to get the results they have in the last few months, they will be serious top four contenders.
The injury bug has taken a large bite out of Crystal Palace. They will be without Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham, Scott Dann and Joel Ward, according to Physioroom.com. Alexander Sorloth and Max Meyer will also be doubts, according to Physioroom.com.
The Gunners will continue to be without Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos, though they could get Petr Cech back this weekend. Whether he would start or not is another question, but Cech could come back into the squad.
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Zaha has scored or assisted four of Palace’s five league goals this season, so he is very clearly the team’s most important player. Zaha has developed his game in the last few years and has become a legitimate game changer with some goal contributions, along with the dribbling ability that has always been a part of his game. Arsenal’s defence has been very shaky this season, and Zaha could rip through it a couple of times, but Palace will have to finish the chances he creates if they are to get their first win since September.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Ozil has had a rough start to the season, but he put on one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt against Leicester City on Monday. He was a crucial part of all three goals, including scoring the first and assisting the third. He has struggled when played wide but was finally played as a number 10 against Leicester. If Emery plays him at ten again, he will likely put on a performance closer to Leicester than in previous games. If he plays to the same level as he did on Monday, it will be quite difficult for Arsenal to lose.
Arsenal are bound to drop points at some point and Palace are bound to gain some eventually. With Arsenal coming off of a difficult European tie, this could be those things happen.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw