29 December, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Laura Christensen
Arsenal is set to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst on Thursday and will seek victory over Roy Hodgson's improved side. Now sat sixth in the table, the Gunners are four points adrift of the top four, they're also three points behind arch-rivals Tottenham.
Palace will have striker Christian Benteke available for the visit of Arsenal after the Belgium global missed the clash at the Liberty Stadium through suspension.
The 3-3 draw against Liverpool last week was a further example of Arsenal's strength of character but it once again showcased their defensive vulnerabilities as they were hit on the counter attack by Jurgen Klopp's men - something they'll be desperate to avoid on Thursday.
Arsene Wenger will take charge of his 810 th game as a Premier League manager in this match; equalling Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League record.
In reality, the 3-0 riot over Arsenal in south London back in April will be fresh in the minds of many Arsenal fans and perhaps the players; a day where the Gunners" fans were booing their own players and the "Wenger Out' campaign was spilling over.
Hodgson still finds himself without Mamadou Sakho whilst the Frenchman recovers from a calf injury, and will also be without Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham for the London derby.
Wenger is likely to stick with the bulk of the team that drew against Liverpool last week, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin expected to make up the defence. The Chilean has only scored once in his last five Premier League outings and has been nowhere near the form that saw him score 24 goals in all competitions last season.
If the Serb allows the former Real Madrid man to dictate the play and orchestrate things for the Gunners, Wenger's men have enough firepower up top to make Palace pay. Whilst both Oliver Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will miss out with hamstring injuries.
Palace have only kept one clean sheet in the 13 home Premier League matches since their 3-0 win over Arsenal at Selhurst Park in April.
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