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Arsenal continue their bid to paper over the cracks of a dispiriting season when they go to Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Wednesday.
The Gunners have loitered firmly in midtable for the entire campaign, one which never truly got started in the first place at the Emirates Stadium.
But they have raised a belated cheer with three wins on the bounce, putting them within range of flagging Everton and, for the most optimistic of fans, capital city rivals West Ham and Tottenham four points above.
Their most recent success was the best of the lot, with old foes Chelsea beaten by the only goal at Stamford Bridge.
It backed up victory at Newcastle and a home win over West Brom that relegated the visitors.
David Luiz is heading for the Emirates exit and won’t feature in the derby thanks to injury.
Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin are also doubtful for the short trip to the south of the capital.
Palace are putting a bit of gloss on their final few weeks of league action, too.
Roy Hodgson’s side have won two of the last three to sit 13th in the Premier League table, albeit 11 points adrift of their ninth-placed visitors.
Aston Villa were seen off 3-2 in a Sunday thriller at Selhurst Park, with success at lowly Sheffield United sandwiching midweek defeat on the road at Southampton.
Luka Milivojevic and Patrick van Aanholt are uncertain to be involved having missed the Eagles’ last match for personal reasons.
Nathan Ferguson, Connor Wickham, James McArthur and Mamadou Sakho are all absent through injury, while Nathaniel Clyne faces a late fitness test.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: By the numbers
- Coming into this game, Crystal Palace has picked up 3 points from the last 5 games, both home and away. That’s 0.6 points per game on average. BTTS has landed in an intriguing 3 of those games. Crystal Palace has scored 5 times in the last 5 fixtures.
- It’s possible we will see a couple of goals here, with the last 6 games for Crystal Palace ending with 2 goals or more being scored.
- Crystal Palace has fired blanks in 13 games this season. That’s 37% of games where they have not been able to find the back of the net. Do they need a new forward? In the last 5 games, they have scored an intriguing 5 goals.
- In the last 5 matches for Crystal Palace, 3 of those games has ended with both teams scoring. This season 17 matches (49% of all matches) involving Crystal Palace has seen BTTS landing.
- Coming into this game, Arsenal has picked up 10 points from the last 5 games, both home and away. That’s 2 points per game on average. BTTS has landed in just 2 of those games. Arsenal has scored 7 times in the last 5 fixtures.
- Superb stuff from Arsenal away from home, where they are currently unbeaten in 6 games. Can they go another game without defeat?
- Scoring is not an issue for Arsenal when they play away from home. They have scored in the last 6 games they have played on the road. Can Crystal Palace stop this run?
- Arsenal has put together a good run of form and has now gone 3 games without defeat.
- Arsenal will be looking to keep up the momentum today against Crystal Palace, having lost just 1 game from the last 5. They have won 3 and drawn 1
- Just 2 of the last 5 games for Arsenal has ended with both teams scoring. They have won 3 of those 5 games. Overall, BTTS has landed in 16/36 games for Arsenal this season.
Stats source: Footystats.org
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Prediction
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: EPL starting XI prediction
Probable Crystal Palace Starting XI: Jack Butland, Joel Ward, Cheikhou Kouyate, Gary Cahill, Tyrick Mitchell, Eberechi Eze, Luka Milivojevic, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha.
Probable Arsenal Starting XI: Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Kieran Tierney, Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.