Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v. Arsenal

Premier League preview Crystal Palace v Arsenal
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Arsenal looks to keep a third-straight clean sheet when it visits Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch Live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Gunners’ improved form meets an Eagles side with plenty of absences, as Andros Townsend and Jeff Schlupp remain injured and Luka Milivojevic is suspended.

Palace may include new loan signing Cenk Tosun.

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Palace has found points in 14 of 21 matches this season, including a 2-2 draw with the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium. It should be noted that the Eagles benefited from a wildly controversial VAR decision that deprived Sokratis Papastathopoulos a match-winning goal.

Tenth-place Arsenal is a point back of Palace, nine points off the Top Four.


Injuries/suspensions

Crystal Palace: OUT —  Andros Townsend, Jeff Schlupp, Joel Ward, Luka Milivojevic, Christian Benteke, Scott Dann, Patrick Van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho. QUESTIONABLE — Wilfried Zaha.

Arsenal: OUT — Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin. QUESTIONABLE — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Probable lineups

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Riedewald, Kouyate, Tomkins, Kelly, Kirby, McCarthy, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew, Tosun.

Arsenal: Leno, Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli.


What they’re saying

Palace’s Roy Hodgson on the season’s expectations: “Well, I guess with the incredible number of injuries, we are perhaps exceeding them, and I am more than happy with our current situation and where we are. But the only relevance is what the table looks like in May. We have a lot of games to play. It is pleasant to go into games in a comfortable position, but we know how quickly that can change. It is the performance that counts and we have to give the type of performance necessary to get results. If we are a better team than Arsenal, as perhaps the table suggests at the moment, we have to go out and prove it by going and beating Arsenal tomorrow.”

Mesut Ozil on new manager and former teammate Mikel Arteta: “Every manager is different and obviously I have had some world class managers throughout my career. Mikel Arteta is different to the others but he is very focused on the ball and wants to make us very successful and I think he is the right man at this club. … Time flies quite quickly and I remember when he went to work with Pep Guardiola at Man City, it was quite obvious he would become a manager soon. I am really happy that he is here with us at the moment because this is the right time. We are all happy to have him here.”


Prediction

Home field is a huge advantage for Palace, but the injury list is so long that it’s difficult to believe in the Eagles’ chances to pull out a win. Arsenal, 2-0