Two sides with opposing fortunes meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday morning (7:45 am ET, watch live on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports Live Extra). Hosts Crystal Palace are sitting in the relegation zone, with just one win to their name, while the visiting Arsenal are currently alone at the top of the Premier League table.
Following the departure of Ian Holloway midweek, Crystal Palace take to the pitch under caretaker manager Keith Millen, the club’s assistant manager. Under Holloway, the newly-promoted Palace recorded just three points, those taken in a victory over bottom side Sunderland. They’ve scored just 6 while conceding 17. It doesn’t look good on paper and they haven’t looked good on the pitch.
In fact, the only good news for Millen is that he doesn’t have to deal with any fresh injury concerns. He’s made six changes to the side that lost 4-1 to Fulham on Monday. Yannick Bolasie, who made his first start against Fulham last week, drops to the bench, as does last week’s goalscorer Adrian Mariappa. Marouane Chamakh returns up top and Daniel Gabbidon in defense. Kagisho Dikgacoi, Jerome Thomas, Barry Bannan and Adlene Guedioura are also handed starts.
As for Arsenal, they’re on a high right now. After their opening day loss to Aston Villa, the Gunners have dropped points just once, in a draw with West Brom, and are fresh from a 4-1 victory over Norwich City. Arsenal did suffer a midweek defeat, losing to Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday. That match saw Jack Wilshere hobble off with an ankle injury, so he’s on the bench today. Tomas Rosicky, too, is dropped to the bench after the Dortmund match. Matthiu Flamini and Santi Carzola are the ones that start against Palace.
Well, the odds are certainly stacked against them — is there any way Palace can take points from Arsenal?
Crystal Palace starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan, Thomas, Guedioura, Chamakh.
Subs: Price, Mariappa, O’Keefe, Puncheon, Kebe, Bolasie, Gayle
Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud
Subs: Fabianski, Monreal, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Rosicky, Gnabry, Bendtner