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Premier League: Improving Gunners Battle Injury-Ravaged Eagles

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

The Premier League is back after a quick break, and the Eagles and the Gunners will kick off the action at Selhurst Park on this weekend.

After being eliminated in the earlier rounds of the EFL Cup, both Crystal Palace and Arsenal can now fully set their sights on improving their form in the league.

Only one point separates between these two clubs as they are place ninth and tenth at the Premier League standings as of this writing. The Eagles are ninth with 28 points while the Gunners are right behind them with 27.

Both have shown improvement to their respective forms as they’ve only lost once in their last four fixtures, and they would hope to climb up on the table with a win this Saturday.

A victory here could propel themselves to as high as the fifth spot assuming the Red Devils won’t win or draw against Norwich City.

As always, SBOTOP is here to give you some points of discussion ahead of this match.

 

Talking Points

Injury woes for Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson will have the daunting task of maintaining Crystal Palace’s good form recently as he tries to maneuver around some bad luck.

Over the last five matches, the Eagles were only defeated once while they had drawn twice and won only once.

Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha continue to be their focal points at the attack as they’ve accounted for five and three goals so far this season, and much of the burden will be placed on their shoulders come Saturday.

The Eagles are expected to miss up to 11 senior players through injury and suspension, which leaves Hodgson very worried. It’s fair to say that he will be desperate to add new faces to his roster in order to keep his squad competitive.

Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last 3 Premier League matches against Arsenal with 1 win and 2 draws
Roy Hodgson looking worried as Crystal Palace’s injury woe continue

“How many injury problems from bona fide first-team players do you need before someone says, ‘in actual fact it’s very difficult for you to field a team at any point in time’?” lamented Hodgson.

 “I’ve never known a situation where so many players are injured. We lost [Mamadou] Sakho in the Norwich game and on Sunday we lost Meyer and Riedewald who were covering for other places,” he added.

The club has reportedly shown interest on bringing Michy Batshuayi back to club on loan from Chelsea. At the same time, they also have their eyes on CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov to further bolster their attack.

Those moves, if it comes into fruition, should come in handy especially since Wilfried Zaha has been linked to a possible transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Mikel Arteta making his presence felt

As each days passes by, it’s starting to look like Mikel Arteta is the right man for the job trying to lead Arsenal to glory anew.

Despite losing to Chelsea before ending the 2019 year, the Spanish manager had already stamped his brand by building good relationships with his key players.

Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka are suddenly playing with more inspiration and they look to have fully bought in to Arteta’s free-flowing yet, aggressive system.

On the other hand, Alexander Lacazzette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continue spearhead their attack and they should continue to produce more goals plus some noteworthy Premier League 2020 highlights.

 “I want people to take responsibility for their jobs and I want people who deliver passion and energy for this football club,” said Arteta during his hire.

“Anyone who doesn’t buy into this, or that has a negative effect or whatever, is not good enough for this environment or this culture,” he added.

From the day he was hired, Arteta kept on harping about changing the club’s culture. Especially after scoring his maiden win against Manchester United, fans over at the Emirates should go back to their winning ways soon.

 

History

Crystal Palace have been undefeated in their last three Premier League matches against Arsenal (W1, D2). They will be keen on maintaining that record for the fourth straight time.

The Gunners have lost just one of their last 14 road games against the Eagles (W7, D6). Their last away defeat at Selhurst Park dates back to April 2017 with a 3-0 tally.

Arsenal are looking to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since winning in the final game during the 2018/19 season and their first two matches this term.

 

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