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Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Can the Eagles spring a surprise against the Gunners?

Crystal Palace and Arsenal are both coming into this Monday night fixture off the back of successful opening day victories. Palace managed to overcome relegation favourites Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane and Arsenal stuttered over the finish line against Nottingham Forest 2-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Both sides meet at Selhurst Park in a game that could swing either way. Arsenal’s record at this ground did not make for happy reading until last season when they swept aside the Eagles with a 2-0 win, However, Palace did have their fair share of chances, so the match was not as one sided as that score line may suggest.

With both sides gaining the maximum points last weekend, they both have the chance to reinstate their 100% record on Monday night with only Brighton and Manchester City managing two wins from their first two games across the Premier League.

Odsonne Edouard scored the only goal of the game in Palace’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United
Recent Fixtures Between the Two Sides

In the last five fixtures Arsenal have only managed two wins at Selhurst Park, with the three other fixtures consisting of one Palace win and two draws. Palace’s one win in that time was a resounding 3-0 win in another night game, two seasons ago, which dealt a major blow to Arsenal’s Champions League ambitions and began a run of three successive defeats for the Gunners.

Crystal Palace Team News

Roy Hodgson confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Palace “have exactly the same group that we had going to Sheffield”. This is a major boost as centre half Marc Guehi was seen struggling with injury, but Hodgson confirmed that he is “fine” after a bit of cramp.

Palace are still without longer term absentees Will Hughes, Malcolm Ebiowei, Matheus Franca and Michael Olise. The fact that Olise is still a Palace player is the outstanding news for Palace fans for the week as he rejected the chance to join Chelsea. Instead, the hugely talented 21-year-old Frenchman signed a new long-term contract at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace Chairman – Steve Parish – surprisingly announced Michael Olise signed a new contract on X
Arsenal Team News

In the last week the unfortunate news about Jurrien Timber’s injury was confirmed as ACL damage and surgery is required which will keep him out for the majority, if not the whole of the campaign.

On a brighter note, Oleksandr Zinchenko is closer to returning to match action and may be in the squad for Monday’s game, alongside new signing David Raya. Gabriel Jesus has not returned to full training yet and is still out for Arsenal.

Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber suffered a nasty ACL injury in their opening day win against Nottingham Forest (Credit: Stuart Macfarlane)
Match Prediction

It’s a tough one to call. I think Arsenal are working on their team dynamics and hoping the new signings of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz get to grips with the demands of the team as soon as possible.

Crystal Palace managed to get their campaign up and running with a good away win last weekend, and kept a clean sheet, so I’m sure they’ll be well up for the first game in front of their home crowd under the lights.

I do believe Arsenal will have too much for Palace but it all balances on how well they find their rhythm early on and keep the Selhurst Park faithful quiet.  The longer they go without attaining an advantage will feed into Palace’s hands and their supporters will carry some momentum.

I’m going to go for 3-1 Arsenal, with the Gunners to get an early goal or two to quieten down the home crowd.

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