Search

Preview: Crystal Palace v Arsenal

PUBLISHED: 07:24 20 February 2015

Fraizer Campbell, Crystal Palace

Fraizer Campbell, Crystal Palace

Archant

Lowdown

As autumn turned into winter, it became clear that Palace were sinking fast under Neil Warnock – and a dismal run of just one win from 13 games brought his second spell at the club to an end after their 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day.

Caretaker boss Keith Millen presided over two 0-0 draws while the board negotiated compensation for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and the deal was done in time for their 4-0 FA Cup third- round victory at Dover.

Pardew then guided the Eagles to a further three straight wins, against Tottenham, Burnley and Southampton (the latter in the FA Cup) as they stormed out of the relegation zone.

Although that surge has begun to level off and clean sheets have been a rarity, Palace sit a healthy five points clear of the bottom three and have lost just twice under their new boss, at home to both of the Merseyside clubs.

The Eagles’ record at Selhurst Park does give them cause for concern though – only Aston Villa and Leicester have taken fewer Premier League points at home this season.

Key players

Even without the injured Yaya Sanogo – who would have been ineligible to face Arsenal anyway under the terms of his loan deal – Pardew has several attacking options to ponder.

Dwight Gayle, who is Palace’s top scorer with 10 goals, can lead the line or play in a wider role, while former Manchester United and Tottenham forward Fraizer Campbell has netted twice in the last two games.

Wilfried Zaha, who returned after an unproductive spell at Old Trafford, Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie are also potential threats from the flanks, while influential skipper Mile Jedinak could return from injury to bolster the midfield.

Last time

Palace travelled to the Emirates on the opening day of the Premier League season in August and snatched an unexpected lead when Brede Hangeland headed in Puncheon’s near-post corner in the 35th minute.

Arsenal drew level on the stroke of half-time when summer signing Alexis Sanchez sent over a free-kick for Laurent Koscielny to nod home, and the Gunners pressed for a second goal after the break.

Sanchez and Olivier Giroud both went close, but it wasn’t until the 90th minute – just after Palace had been reduced to 10 men by Puncheon’s second yellow card – that Aaron Ramsey scrambled in the winner after Mathieu Debuchy’s shot had been blocked.

Prediction

Palace are a decent attacking side, but Arsenal possess greater quality and it should be enough for them to seal the points with a 3-1 victory.

Latest Islington Sports News

Fri, 17:34

Today’s Friday Fanzone Q&A talks to ‘Highbury Harold’ a member of the Black Scarf movement – the supporter group ‘that says it like it is’. Read on for this fourth generation Gooner’s views on all things Arsenal...

Fri, 11:30

Extra £410,000 to identify and support young talent

Thu, 09:37

Islington and Camden’s two District Primary School teams played out a pulsating semi-final in the Kay Trophy at Chase Lodge – with Islington just getting through on penalties.

Wed, 08:29

Return to action after surgery leads to podiums

Wed, 06:00

Islington Boxing Club picked up two victories on an Eastgate ABC dinner show held at the Debenham Leisure Centre in Stowmarket.

Tue, 13:39

The nine-year-old boy from Islington who wowed people last year by conquering three of cycling’s most feared climbs is gearing up for another adventure – and this time his sister is coming along for the ride.

Mon, 16:30

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies saw their 27-game undefeated run come to an end with a valiant 10-0 defeat to north London rivals Arsenal but Karen Hills’ outfit can take plenty of pride away from the encounter.

Mon, 13:26

Alan Higgins will feel unlucky after losing his Southern Area Super-Middleweight title in a superb contest with Criag Richards.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now