Arsenal will look to continue their challenge for the Premier League title, as the Gunners host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners bounced back from back-to-back away defeats with a 1-0 home win over West Brom on Boxing Day, with the only goal of the game coming from an Olivier Giroud header. The goal came as a massive relief for everybody connected with the club from north London.
Arsene Wenger’s side will look to keep pace with leaders Chelsea, who the Gunners could trail by 12 points if the Blues defeat Stoke City on Saturday.
Arsenal’s home form has remained strong this season in the top-flight, as they are unbeaten in their last eight league games on home soil. The Gunners have recorded six wins in that eight-game run, so will be confident of defeating the Eagles in this one.
The home side also have a good recent record against Palace, having gone eight games unbeaten against their London rivals in all competitions.
Crystal Palace are precariously placed in the table, currently 17th place and just two points clear of the relegation zone. The arrival of the experienced Sam Allardyce in the Eagles dugout is expected to give the visitors a lift.
On Boxing Day the Eagles recorded a 1-1 draw at Watford, with Yohan Cabaye finding the net. However, the Eagles club-record signing Christian Benteke saw a penalty kick saved by Hornets ‘keeper Heurelho Gomes.
The Hornets found a way back into the game through a Troy Deeney penalty kick in the last 20 minutes. Palace have been in terrible form and have won just one of their last 12 top-flight outings. Even with Allardyce in the manager’s seat the Eagles will be apprehensive about their trip to north London.
Arsenal still have a number of injury problems. Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy are definitely ruled out through injury, while Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are also expected to miss out.
Palace have a number of injury problems heading into this clash. Papa Souare, Connor Wickham, Loic Remy, James Tomkins, Jonathan Benteke, Bakary Sako and Steve Mandanda are all expected to miss out through injury. Centre-back Damien Delaney is also out through suspension.
Arsenal are the favourites to win this clash at odds of 1/3, the draw is odds of 19/4 and Palace are odds of 9/1 to record a victory in north London.
Palace may well be better organised under Allardyce, but the Gunners should have enough quality to see off an injury-ravaged Eagles side.
Will Arsenal get the better of Crystal Palace on Sunday?