Premier League: Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Since losing 4-1 to Manchester City before Christmas, Arsenal have won four from four in all competitions, and Mikel Arteta seems to have found a system which has started to produce results for the FA Cup holders.

A back four system has resulted in wins over Chelsea, Brighton, West Brom and Newcastle, with Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney the standout players in Arsenal’s resurgence. Both should start when Crystal Palace make the trip across London, with the Gunners hoping to move into the top half with a victory.

Speaking of the South London side, Roy Hodgson’s side have won only one of their last six games, beating bottom side Sheffield United in their last Premier League game, before exiting the FA Cup at the hands of Wolves last weekend.

Wilfried Zaha was afforded a partial rest in the defeat, playing only the last 20 minutes – a decision that may well have been influenced by this game. The winger will be central to the Eagles’ chances of getting anything against an Arsenal defence that has kept three consecutive clean sheets.

Palace also have injury worries elsewhere in their squad, with Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly, Jeffrey Schlupp, Connor Wickham, Wayne Hennessey and Nathan Ferguson all missing through various ailments.

There’s good news in the shape of Gary Cahill though, as the former Chelsea defender should return after a thigh injury, and Scott Dann could also come back into the squad after a similar issue.

As for Arsenal, Gabriel Martinelli is expected to miss out after turning his ankle in the warm-up of the FA Cup win over Newcastle, despite training in the week, but Thomas Partey and Gabriel should both return to the squad after injuries. Rob Holding, who signed a new contract this week, is available to deputise should the Brazilian defender not make the starting XI.

Arsenal take on Crystal Palace on Thursday, January 14th. Kick-off is at 8pm.

Crystal Palace secure impressive 4-1 Premier League win over Leeds

Leeds have now lost their last three league games, whilst Palace picked up their first home win since the opening day.

It was all one-way traffic in the opening stages as Palace looked to impose themselves from the start.

Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt both fired early tests at Illan Meslier before Palace final broke through on 12 minutes.

Eberechi Eze’s corner outfoxed the Leeds defence and Scott Dann got up highest to power home a header.

And after Leeds’ Patrick Bamford saw his effort ruled out for offside, Palace simply picked up the momentum again to make it 2-0.

Eze was again at the heart of for Roy Hodgson’s side as their new star bent home a superb free kick.

Leeds did manage to hit back before the break though as Bamford finally got his goal as he cushioned home Mateusz Klich’s knock down.

But Palace made the game safe just before half time as the unfortunate Helder Costa diverted Van Aanholt’s cross past Meslier.

With the game began to peter out after the restart, Leeds struggled to spark themselves into life with Jack Harrison’s long ranger their best effort.

And with Leeds unable to break through a stubborn Palace defence, the hosts put the gloss on an unusually potent attacking display as Jordan Ayew calmly tucked home Wilf Zaha’s pass.

Full Time at Selhurst Park it’s Crystal Palace 4 Leeds United 1

Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Leeds

The two clubs have made identical starts to the season, with three wins, three defeats and a draw each, leaving them in mid table after seven games, but both suffered disappointing defeats last time out.

Palace were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Wolves at Molineux, and midfielder Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a late challenge on Joao Moutinho, meaning he will serve a three-match ban after an unsuccessful appeal. Roy Hodgson was livid with the referee’s decision, and it now means the Eagles squad is stretched even thinner, with their injury troubles still proving problematic.

Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are both struggling after calf and heel injuries respectively, meaning Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann are likely to continue at the back.

Tyrick Mitchell and Joel Ward are also missing, while new signing Nathan Ferguson and long-serving goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey miss out too.

There’s positive news in the shape of James McCarthy though, as the Irish midfielder could return after a thigh injury. He could form the McCarthy/McArthur midfield pair, as the Scotland international is expected to deputise for Milivojevic.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are available again after positive coronavirus tests and should be involved.

Leeds have been hit by the virus as well, with record signing Rodrigo ruled out after a positive test. The Spanish international will now isolate under Premier League protocol and miss the trip to the capital.

Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out until December, while Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are also long-term absentees.

New signing Diego Llorente is still to make his debut for the club and will miss out with an injury suffered while on international duty.

Raphinha has been struggling with an ankle injury and a late decision will be made on him, but wholesale changes aren’t expected to the Leeds side that started the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City last weekend.

Top scorer Patrick Bamford will continue up front and hope he can show Gareth Southgate more of what he can do after missing out on the latest England squad, while midfield creators Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa will be tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Chelsea striker.

Crystal Palace take on Leeds United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 7th. Kick-off is at 3pm.