Palace look likely to avoid relegation, despite scoring only 19 goals through 21 games. They’ll be looking up at the European places if they keep this form up. A win against Arsenal would go a long way towards reaching the top seven. Palace have struggled to score, but Arsenal’s poor defence could be a big opportunity.
Arsenal have improved under Mikel Arteta and have two consecutive wins for the first time since early October. The rest of the season is all about evaluating and improving performances for them. That said, they would still like to win games. Top four is unlikely, but not totally out of sight. It will be out of sight if they don’t win games like this.
Crystal Palace have a huge injury crisis on their hands. Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Patrick Van Aanholt and Mamadou Sahko are already ruled out, while Christian Benteke, Max Meyer, Jairo Riedewald, Victor Camarasa and Wilfried Zaha are all doubts, according to PremierInjuries.com. Luka Milivojevic is out through suspension on top of all of the injuries.
Arsenal have injury issues of their own with Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney ruled out and Hector Bellerin doubtful, according to PremierInjuries.com.
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Zaha hasn’t hit the heights of last season, but he is still Palace’s most important player. His dribbling ability could be devastating against Arsenal’s makeshift wingbacks. Palace have struggled for creativity all season and need Zaha to have a prayer of creating chances consistently.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Ozil has seen a revival in the early part of the Arteta era. He has been back in the team and getting in more space than he has in ages. His creative passing still isn’t what it used to be, but his ball progression has been a welcome addition. He still has more cutting edge in the final third than anyone else on this team and that he is needed in the short term.
Palace’s injury issues really hold them back. They may really struggle to score and Arsenal’s improvement is significant enough to give them a good chance in this match.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal