TEAM NEWS

Connor Wickham showed no ill-effects from his brief substitute appearance at Everton but Christian Benteke and Joel Ward remain on the sidelines. Crystal Palace pair Max Meyer and Alexander Sorloth are available after missing out last weekend with a virus.

Arsenal are expected to reinstate several players dropped to the bench for their Europa League win. Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac remain doubts with hamstring injuries but Petr Cech is fit after a similar issue.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SimonBrotherton: Impressive Arsenal continued their winning ways in the Europa League on Thursday night and will be brimming with confidence ahead of this one against struggling Crystal Palace. The 1-0 victory over Sporting in Lisbon made it 11 wins in a row for the Gunners, who have made a better than expected start under head coach Unai Emery.

In stark contrast, Palace have taken just one point from four games and surprisingly haven’t managed to score a single goal at home so far this season. They managed two in last season‘s corresponding fixture but still lost the game 3-2.

Crystal Palace Arsenal

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “We’ve played a lot better this season than we did at the start of last. We lost some games heavily last time, which we deserved to, whereas this season we have lost some that we deserved something from.

“Arsenal are playing extremely well. I don’t see any particular weaknesses, so we must make sure we work hard to minimise their opportunities. There are no secrets, it’s about what we do on the field.”

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “I think the first thing we spoke about when I arrived here was to improve our competitiveness, both individually and collectively as a team. We are doing that.

“When we started with the losses in the first two matches, maybe a lot of people were thinking it could be a difficult way for the club this season. Now, when we are winning, maybe the same people are thinking we are on the way to arrive in the top four.

“We aren’t the best team now, and when we lost we weren’t the worst team. We’re a good team who need to improve a lot of things and take more confidence, responsibility and ambition to improve.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Eagles are overdue a performance at home and, if they can pick up a point, it might be a stepping stone for them to start climbing the table.

Prediction: 1-1

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Crystal Palace have lost nine of their last 11 Premier League matches against Arsenal, including both games in 2017-18.
  • Arsenal’s only defeat in their past nine away league visits to Selhurst Park was a 3-0 loss in April 2017.
  • There have been 13 goals scored in the past three league meetings.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace could equal the top-flight record of five consecutive home matches without scoring from the beginning of a season.
  • The Eagles have managed just three goals in their last eight Premier League games, failing to score on five occasions during this run.
  • They are the only team not to have scored a Premier League goal from a set-piece this campaign.
  • Palace have won one and lost 14 of their last 16 league matches against the teams that finished in the top six last season.
  • Roy Hodgson is without a Premier League victory over Arsenal in nine attempts since a 1-0 win with Fulham in August 2008.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal could win 12 successive matches in all competitions for the first time since October 2007.
  • They are vying for eight league wins in a row for the first time since February to April 2015.
  • The Gunners have scored a league-high 12 away goals.
  • Unai Emery’s side have scored a league-high 16 second-half goals – 23 of their 33 goals in all competitions this season have been scored in the second half (70%).
  • Arsenal have won more points (437) and averaged more points per game (1.81) in Premier League London derbies than any other team.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 21 goals in 22 Premier League appearances, with 16 goals and five assists.

Source: BBC News