After a tough few weeks, Arsenal are aiming to get back to winning ways when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
Arsenal and Crystal Palace resume their Premier League campaigns under a bit of pressure and the Gunners may have to work hard to take three points off the Eagles at the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta's men were top of the table on Christmas Day before damaging defeats at home to West Ham and away to Fulham.
Those setbacks were followed by a disappointing 2-0 FA Cup third round loss to Liverpool, in which Arsenal should have been out of sight by half-time, and they must sharpen up their finishing if they are to make up ground on the Reds and champions Manchester City in the title race.
Palace ended an eight-match winless streak in the league by beating struggling Brentford 3-1 on 30th December but the new year started with a couple of forgettable FA Cup ties against Everton.
After a goalless draw at Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson's men were beaten 1-0 in Wednesday's replay at Goodison Park and star winger Michael Olise, who has scored four times in his last four league appearances, is sidelined by a thigh injury.
Despite Olise's absence, Palace should be confident of troubling an Arsenal defence who have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine matches in all competitions.
Both teams have scored in eight of the Eagles' last nine league games while they have found the net in nine of their 10 away matches in 2023/24.
A 2-1 Arsenal win appeals in the correct score market as four of Palace's last six league defeats were by that scoreline.
Those include losses to Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool and Hodgson's men were on course for another 2-1 reverse at Manchester City last month before Olise equalised with an injury-time penalty.
Arsenal clung on for a 1-0 victory over Palace in August's reverse fixture when Takehiro Tomiyasu was harshly sent off for two bookable offences.
However, both clubs have generally been well behaved this season, with Arsenal picking up just 30 yellow cards in 20 Premier League matches and Palace receiving 37 cautions and one red card from their first 20 outings.
Two of the Eagles' most likely card candidates, Jordan Ayew and Joel Ward, are absent and it may pay to back one or both teams not to receive a card.
That was a winning bet in Arsenal's last home league fixture, as no West Ham player was shown a card, and there were no bookings at all in the Gunners' final Champions League group game against PSV on 12th December.
With Olise injured and Ayew away on international duty, Eberechi Eze will shoulder even more attacking responsibility for Palace and he is worth backing to have at least two shots.
Eze has had an injury-disrupted campaign but he is still averaging 2.9 shots per game in the Premier League and had four attempts at goal in August's home defeat to Arsenal.
The talented attacking midfielder has had at least two shots in 10 of his 11 league starts and he managed a couple of pops at goal in a 20-minute substitute appearance against Brighton just before Christmas.
Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are hoping to overcome minor injuries. Eddie Nketiah and Jakub Kiwior are the likely understudies if they are not passed fit.
Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny are on international duty and Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber remain sidelined.
Michael Olise is injured and fellow winger Jordan Ayew is at the Africa Cup of Nations so Matheus Franca and Jeffrey Schlupp should start on the flanks.
Joel Ward, Cheick Doucoure, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and former Arsenal defender Rob Holding have also been ruled out.
Arsenal have won only one of their last seven games in all competitions.
Both teams have scored in eight of Crystal Palace's last nine Premier League matches.
|Crystal Palace wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.