English Premiership

Desperate Arsenal come up against plucky Palace

2018-01-19 16:31
Alex Iwobi (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Arsenal will be desperate to pick up all three points against Crystal Palace in their Premier League clash at the Emirates on Saturday.

The six-placed Gunners have not won in 2018 and come into this match on the back of three draws and two defeats, having last lost 2-1 to Bournemouth after drawing 0-0 with Chelsea.

Palace, meanwhile, enjoyed a run of eight games without defeat before losing to Arsenal. But two wins and a draw, plus just one further defeat to Brighton, ahead of beating Burnley 1-0, has left Palace in a relatively comfortable 12th place after 23 games.

Speaking to the press, Arsene Wenger said, ahead of this game: "I am confident yes, but it is down to our performance. Crystal Palace were in a good run before we played against them and since they have had positive results again, so we just have to focus on our performance and make that we win the game."

Palace manager Roy Hodgson added: "The fact is we're still in a relegation battle. We're not alone now, we're a little bit less isolated than we were some weeks and months ago and we're happy, of course, about that.

"But we're still in a bigger group of teams now who must be aware that unless they can keep their form going, unless they can keep points coming in, unless they can keep performances at the very highest level, they're going to be involved in a scrap to stay in the league right to the end."

In team news, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil return for the Gunners after their respective injuries, but Ainsley Maitland-Niles (flu) is a doubt, while Olivier Giroud is one week away from his return.

Joel Ward and Yohan Cabaye should be available again for the Eagles, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is out with a back injury.

Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham remained side-lined.

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Saturday, 24 February 2018
Leicester City v Stoke City, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town, The Hawthorns 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur, Selhurst Park 14:00
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 16:05
Thursday, 01 March 2018
Arsenal v Manchester City, Emirates Stadium 21:45
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