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Crystal Palace v Arsenal preview: Gunners target another fast start at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace and Arsenal meet at Selhurst Park on Monday after both clubs enjoyed successful starts to the 2023/24 Premier League season.

Title contenders Arsenal, who beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in their opening game, are 8/13 to take maximum points against Palace but Roy Hodgson's men racked up 24 attempts at goal in their 1-0 victory at promoted Sheffield United.

WhatCrystal Palace v Arsenal
WhereSelhurst Park, London
When20:00, Monday 21st August
How to watchSky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event
OddsCrystal Palace 9/2, Draw 3/1, Arsenal 8/13

Martinelli aiming to torment Palace defence again

Crystal Palace had been something of a bogey team for Arsenal before last season, losing just once in eight Premier League clashes with the Gunners from 2018/19 to 2021/22.

Selhurst Park was the venue for the opening fixture of the 2022/23 campaign and Arsenal came out on top thanks to a 20th-minute Gabriel Martinelli strike and a late Marc Guehi own goal.

That victory marked the start of an unexpected title challenge from Mikel Arteta's side, who beat Palace 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium in March and are 8/13 to claim a third straight win over the Eagles on Monday.

Arsenal eased into a 2-0 lead over Forest in their first game of the new season, with classy finishes from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka, but they endured a tense end to the match after Taiwo Awoniyi's 82nd-minute goal for the visitors.

Fast starts have been a feature of Arsenal's recent success under Arteta. They were leading at half-time and full-time in seven of their first 10 league matches last season, as well as their home victory against Palace and this term's opening win over Forest.

The Arsenal-Arsenal selection in the Half Time/Full Time market is 6/4 and Martinelli, who opened the scoring in both of last season's wins over Palace, is 6/1 to be First Goalscorer.

Eze has key role to play for Hodgson's hosts

Crystal Palace were in relegation danger after their 4-1 loss at Arsenal in March but the return of veteran manager Roy Hodgson sparked a late-season resurgence.

Palace won five of their last 10 matches, although they were undoubtedly helped by the fixture list as they beat Leicester, Leeds and Southampton, the three teams who went on to be relegated, in Hodgson's first three games.

Their strong finish dragged them up to 11th in the table but they won only one of their 20 games against teams above them, also losing at home and away to 12th-placed Chelsea.

Palace are 9/2 to snap that trend against Arsenal but they will have to do so without club legend Wilfried Zaha, who moved to Galatasaray in the summer after making almost 300 league appearances for the Eagles.

France Under-21 international Michael Olise, a transfer target for Chelsea, has signed a new contract at the club but he is sidelined, along with new arrival Matheus Franca, for Monday's fixture against Arsenal.

Eberechi Eze, playing the number-10 role, will shoulder the creative responsibility and the 25-year-old flourished under Hodgson last term.

Eze scored six goals in his last nine league appearances of 2022/23, earning an England debut against Malta in June, and he had eight shots in the opening 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

The attacking midfielder is 8/11 to have a shot on target on Monday while striker Odsonne Edouard, who scored with one of his three attempts on target at Bramall Lane, is 4/6 in the same market. 

Arsenal out to maintain high defensive standards on the road

Arsenal finished as runners-up to Manchester City in last season's Premier League but they had the best away record in the division, winning 12 of their 19 matches on the road.

Impressively, 10 of those 12 wins featured clean sheets and the Gunners are 6/4 for a repeat of last August's victory to nil at Selhurst.

Manager Arteta has some important defensive decisions to make, however. New signing Jurrien Timber will miss most of the season after suffering a serious knee injury against Forest so Oleksandr Zinchenko may return at left-back.

Goalkeeper David Raya has arrived on loan from Brentford to keep Aaron Ramsdale, last season's number one, on his toes and midfielder Thomas Partey started in an unfamiliar right-back position in the season opener.

Partey was booked in Arsenal's 3-0 defeat at Palace in April 2022 and is 13/5 to be shown a card on Monday. 

However, this has been a well-behaved fixture in recent seasons, with only 13 yellow cards brandished by referees in the last six meetings, and Under 4.5 Cards is 4/5.    

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