Arteta expects Arsenal to ‘suffer’ in tough Crystal Palace test
PUBLISHED: 14:47 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:47 09 January 2020
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expects Arsenal will ‘suffer’ like he did as a player when the Gunners face Crystal Palace in Saturday’s London derby at Selhurst Park.
Arteta's men could make it three wins on the spin with victory against the Eagles, but the Spaniard knows his side will be in for a tough test.
"Every time I played there, I suffered," he said.
"It was always tough. It is a very complicated stadium."
The Arsenal boss was pleased to have a full week of training before the tricky trip to south London, adding: "At least we had some time to train a few things that I wanted to start implementing.
"It is nice to have a few more players back, a few from injury, and a bigger group where we can be not just match, post-match, recovery, pre-match all the time.
"So I am pleased, and when the weather is like this, even better."
The fixture will also see the youngest Premier League manager come up against the oldest, with the 37-year-old Arteta taking on 72-year-old Roy Hodgson.
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Arsenal's head coach revealed his admiration for his Palace counterpart, saying: "He is a manager with incredible experience and what he is doing there, it is very impressive and it will be tough.
"What can I learn from Roy? Absolutely everything. It is incredible how he deals with situations.
"To be living with this level of pressure for such a long time, the way he handles it, the way he behaves himself, the way he puts himself across, how respected he is around all the players and clubs, is remarkable.
"So I have big admiration for him."
Arsenal will go into the game at Selhurst Park full of confidence after wins over Manchester United and Leeds in the FA Cup, and Arteta is pleased with the energy around the club after a positive start to his reign in N5.
"The first thing I wanted to change was the energy around the team and around the club as well.
"It is slightly better than how it was, or much better I would say.
"Obviously the fact we are winning games helps, and as well what I am seeing at the training ground since the day I moved is much more like I want to see."
Arteta also revealed that full-back Hector Bellerin trained this week as he continues to recover from a hamstring issue, saying: "I don't think we will get anyone back in the squad, we have a few that are going to be 50/50 for the following game probably but not much news.
"Hector is a little bit better. He trained partially with the team today, but he's still not there."
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