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Preview: Crystal Palace vs Arsenal – prediction, team news, line-ups

Crystal Palace’s first Premier League home game without Wilfried Zaha falls on Monday as they take on cross-city rivals and title hopefuls Arsenal.

Roy Hodgson’s first league match without his former talisman was a resounding success. Odsonne Edouard’s second-half strike fired Palace to a 1-0 win at newly-promoted Sheffield United.

While a narrow scoreline may suggest the Eagles ground out a result at Bramall Lane, they produced a stunning 24 shots on goal, more than any other Premier League side on the opening weekend. 

Back at Selhurst Park for the first time since a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest in last season’s finale, they look to start a new top-flight campaign with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2006/07.

After a turbulent week dominated by rumours linking Michael Olise with a move to Chelsea, only for the versatile forward to pen a new deal at Palace, Hodgson’s lads come into proceedings in high spirits. 

However, heavily motivated Arsenal will be confident of dousing the optimism at Selhurst Park following a dramatic 2-1 home win over Forest last weekend. 

Mikel Arteta’s team thrived on Declan Rice’s Gunners debut but let complacency get the better of them in the latter stages, which almost led to the visitors’ shock comeback.

A victory was all that mattered in the end as Arsenal lived up to our season predictions, building a solid case for another season-long fight for Champions League football.

Match Preview

As mentioned in our Crystal Palace season preview, Hodgson’s men should be safe from relegation conversations, but a first top-half finish since 2014/15 could be too much to ask. 

But if the Eagles can keep an early momentum going and build on a phenomenal ten-game home form at the back end of last season (W3, D6), they could outperform our expectations. 

Since Hodgson’s re-appointment last March, the Londoners have only lost twice in 11 league outings (W6, D3), though one of those two defeats ominously came against fellow capital rivals Tottenham Hotspur. 

Palace have notoriously struggled in all-London clashes. Two losses in their last three home league encounters against Arsenal support this thesis. 

Arsenal completed a Premier League double over Palace in 2022/23, winning both matches via multi-goal margins and an aggregate score of 6-1.

The Gunners have dominated this fixture during the Premier League era, racking up an eye-catching 86% unbeaten ratio across 28 league meetings with Palace (W16, D8, L4).

Adding to their confidence, they claimed an impressive five wins in seven top-flight London derbies away from home last season (D1) en route to winning more points on the road than any other side (37).

But Arsenal’s away form dwindled toward the end of the season (W1, D2, L2), with Arteta’s men conceding multiple goals on three of their last five league travels. 

Team News

Despite pledging his future to Selhurst Park, Olise won’t regain his place in the starting line-up as he remains sidelined with a thigh injury. 

Will Hughes is another high-profile absentee in the Palace camp, but Hodgson will have the remainder of his squad fit for this clash.

Arsenal will travel across the capital without Mohamed Elneny and Gabriel Jesus, but Jurrien Timber’s severe knee injury is perhaps the biggest blow for the visitors.

There’s a chance Oleksandr Zinchenko could recover in time to fill the void, but it’s more likely that Takehiro Tomiyasu will play as a makeshift left-back. 

Crystal Palace potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Sam Johnstone; Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; Cheick Doucoure, Jefferson Lerma; Jordan Ayew, Eberechi Eze, Jeffrey Schlupp; Odsonne Edouard.

Arsenal potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli.

We Say: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal cannot afford to underestimate injury-plagued Palace, especially at Selhurst Park, where they’ve struggled over the years.

The Gunners have only won twice on their last five league visits to this venue (D2, L1), but we expect them to post back-to-back away wins over the Eagles for the first time since 2015.

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