Premier League Picks: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Can Arteta achieve his third consecutive victory?
The arrival of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal has produced a revolution in the London team. The Spaniard has only directed the Gunners in 4 games. Still, he has obtained excellent results such as the 2-0 victory at home over Manchester United and, more recently, the victory over Leeds United for the FA Cup 1-0. The match against Leeds was a tough one for Arsenal.
The team led by Argentine manager Bielsa dominated the game from the start, and it was superior to Arsenal for about 50 minutes. They demonstrated the first-level football with precise ball touches, they managed to execute 438 passes and hold a 59% ball possession. Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was the one who managed to prevent Leeds from scoring and keeping things in parity until his team managed to wake up.
It was in the second half when Arsenal, after a hard talk by the Boss Arteta in the dressing room, managed to wake up. Alexandre Lacazette was the one who led the Arsenal attack and created several opportunities, but it was Nelson who managed to score for the Gunners after a bad clearance by the Leeds defense in the small area that sent the ball directly to his feet.
Crystal Palace will host the Gunners at Selhurst Park, where they lost their FA Cup match against Derby County 1-0. The Palace was not in good shape in this match. However, those led by Roy Hodgson achieved 84% accuracy in the passes, 2% more than his rival, and had 51% of possession of the ball.
Despite these numbers, this was not enough to recover from the goal of Chris Martin in the 32nd minute. As if that were not enough to be out of the FA Cup against one of the last teams of the Championships, the captain of the Palace Luka Milivojevic was expelled from the game and will miss the next 3 matches due to suspension.
This puts Crystal Palace in a problematic situation since, in addition to missing the game against Arsenal, Milivojevic will miss the games against Manchester City and Southampton. Which is vital if the Palace wants to meet its goal of being in the top 10 of the Premier at the end of the season.
A date that can change the table
In fact, this is a crucial match for the teams in the top 10 since Crystal Palace is currently 9 on the table, while Arsenal is ranked 10 so there is a lot at stake for both sides in terms of climbing positions since that 3 and 4 points respectively separate them from the 5 positions. Depending on the outcome of this match plus the results of the other matches, there could be major changes in this part of the table.
Crystal Palace arrives beaten at the game against the Gunners. It seems that play at home won’t give them an edge since fans are divided about Manager Hodgson. Some love him, and others hate him and question his decisions and strategies. Rumors said that even the board is doubting Hodgson’s work as he is encountering obstacles to obtain funds to bring some players during the current transfer window. Crystal Palace +319
Arsenal for its part is looking better on the field; Mezut Ozil has become the team’s creative director and is doing a spectacular job. Lacazette seems to have finally found his place in the squad, and it shows that the whole team is working hard to reach the top 3 of the table, so it is very likely they win this game.