Crystal Palace are a value bet to beat an Arsenal team under pressure to land victory at Selhurst Park
Arsenal were many people’s tip to be Premier League champions before ninety minutes against West Ham suggested that is unlikely to happen this season.
While there are thirty-seven games left for the Gunners to accumulate points, the way in which they were easily nullified by the Hammers suggests that Arsenal will once again flatter to deceive in the top flight.
It might sound strange but this game has taken on a “must-win” quality for Arsene Wenger’s team – or at the very least, it’s a “must-not-lose” encounter.
Consecutive defeats does not earn you league titles although Crystal Palace look like horrendous opponents for Arsenal at this early stage of the season, with confidence in large measures at Selhurst Park following a summer of fantastic signings.
No Eagles fan seriously expected Yohan Cabaye to arrive at the club, with Conor Wickham and Patrick Bamford adding firepower and a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road last weekend sets Alan Pardew’s team up nicely for this one.
Pardew relishes these sort of matches against the big boys, with a 3-1 win at Anfield happening towards the back of last season and that was a month after a 2-1 victory against Manchester City.
Yanick Bolasie should return to the starting XI and pose plenty of problems for an Arsenal defence who will hope that Petr Cech acquits himself better than a debut to forget for a keeper who was supposed to earn an extra 12-15 points this season.
With Alexis Sanchez still not ready to play a full match and Arsenal needing to get into rhythm this season, it’s a great time for the Eagles to be playing this match and odds of 22/5 are simply too big about a home win.
Mesut Ozil was suspiciously quiet playing in the middle of an attacking trident, with Wenger mulling over whether to restore Theo Walcott to the starting line-up after pitching Olivier Giroud from the off.