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Preview: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Arsenal are looking to make it four Premier League wins in a row for the first time since October 2018 when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have finally hit a good run of form under previously under-pressure boss Mikel Arteta, while Palace have struggled for consistency and are one point worse off than their London rivals.

Match preview

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Arsenal's Boxing Day win over Chelsea felt like a turning point at the time and that has proved the case in their three matches since, each of those ending in victory.

As well as beating Brighton and Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion in the league, the Gunners also saw off Newcastle United 2-0 with the aid of extra time in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie.

With back-to-back home league matches with Palace and Newcastle to come this week, the aim for Arteta now will be to climb the division from his side's current standing of 11th.

Arsenal have fared well in previous London derbies this term, too, taking more points from their capital rivals than any other side (nine). Indeed, they have won three out of four such fixtures this term, already one more than in the whole of 2019-20.

Palace know how to frustrate their opponents, though, having gone four without defeat against them in the Premier League - the Gunners' longest ever winless run in this fixture.

Unlike Arsenal, the Eagles were unable to progress past the third round of the FA Cup last weekend, going down 1-0 to fellow top-flight side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured on January 2, 2020© Reuters

Roy Hodgson's men did end a five-match winless run in the Premier League in their last outing in the competition, however, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

In what is proving to be a familiar up-and-down campaign for Palace, they could still yet challenge for a European spot or find themselves battling to avoid relegation.

This is therefore another big game in both sides' seasons, and one in the case of Arsenal that could see them finally break into the top half of the division.

A defeat, though, and it will be a case of back to square one for Arteta in what is a huge rebuild task at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal Premier League form: LDLWWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): LLWWWW

Crystal Palace Premier League form: DDLLDW
Crystal Palace form (all competitions): DLLDWL

Team News

Thomas Partey pictured in Arsenal gear on October 17, 2020© Reuters

Thomas Partey has not featured for Arsenal since December but the club's big summer signing is in contention to play a part on Thursday, possibly from the bench.

Arteta made mass changes to his side for the FA Cup tie with Newcastle and is likely to revert back to the XI that started against West Brom two weeks ago.

That means another chance for Emile Smith Rowe to shine in attacking midfield, with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.

Fellow striker Gabriel Martinelli is Arsenal's only confirmed injury absentee after twisting his ankle ahead of the Newcastle game.

As for Palace, they could be without as many as eight players for various reasons, including the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Martin Kelly.

With Scott Dann and Gary Cahill also doubtful, Cheikhou Kouyate may get the nod at centre-back.

Luka Milivojevic, who has scored five goals in six Premier League appearances against Arsenal, will also be in contention despite recently breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Benteke

SM words green background

We say: Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace

Prior to beating Chelsea in their most recent home league match, Arsenal had gone five without a victory at the Emirates Stadium in the competition, losing four of those.

Palace have the ability to pull off surprise results, as witnessed against Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United this term, but we are backing the in-form Gunners to keep their momentum going with another win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Rob Holding in action for Arsenal on December 16, 2020
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