Premier League preview: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
After exiting the Europa League on penalties against Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal turn their attentions to the Premier League – and an encounter with Crystal Palace, post-Patrick Vieira.
It wasn’t exactly Paddy’s day on St Paddy’s Day, the Frenchman sacked on Friday following his side’s defeat to Brighton earlier this week.
The Eagles have drawn blanks in their last four games
“I’m concerned about scoring goals,” Vieira had declared after that 1-0 loss, a post-match nugget that was less incisive observation or urgent rallying cry, more breathtaking statement of the obvious. The Eagles have drawn blanks in their last four games, and have a total of four goals in their last 11 league games.
But now that Vieira has said au revoir, could a no-manager bounce help the visitors riff on Mikel Arteta’s pain this week?
William Saliba had to be substituted against Sporting, and his fitness is in doubt for this match. Eddie Nketiah remains absent through injury too. But Gabriel Jesus came through 45 minutes against Sporting, and could play some role for the Gunners.
So will this be a straightforward home win, despite the change in personnel? Arsenal often get the job done at home, despite conceding; eight of their 10 home wins in the Prem this season have been achieved without keeping a clean sheet.
Ordinarily, that might suggest a look at Arsenal to win and BTTS. But with Palace’s duff goalscoring record, we’re wary.
Maybe Vieira’s departure will help spark a goal, but it’s hardly a given.
Instead, perhaps Leandro Trossard is the man to back at the Emirates this week. The Belgian set a Premier League record, providing three first half assists during the Gunners’ away win over Fulham last week. Trossard is 11/4 to notch another assist on Sunday…
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