Following Ian Holloways sacking after Monday night’s defeat at home to Fulham, we travel to Selhurst Park looking to put Dortmund out of our minds. Crystal Palace are above only Sunderland in the table, propping it up in 19th. That isn’t to say they shouldn’t have more points though as I thought they played well at Manchester United until the sending off and subsequent penalty, while also playing some good football and taking the lead at Stoke only to be pegged back. Palace’s dealings in the transfer market were not suffice enough to secure their place in the Premier League next season in my eyes, signing players such as Maroune Chamakh, Barry Bannan & Jason Puncheon; the latter the only player who I would suggest is worthy of a Premier League club. Sacking Holloway does seem harsh on the back of his successful campaign with Palace last season, taking over in November but securing their status as a Premier League club after winning the play-offs but with only three points from a potential twenty four it is understandable. Sacking Holloway and hiring Tony Pulis on the other hand is not understandable. If I have to see that twat in a dugout wearing his poncy Sports Direct cap and tracksuit I’ll kill someone. I would suggest that the problem with Crystal Palace lies with the quality of players; not managing staff – I don’t believe Palace have a squad good enough to survive in the Premier League. Maybe that is Holloway’s fault for not buying Premier League players, but we’ll never know now, will we?
Cesc Fabregas has been interviewed by The Guardian and sent us all into absolute delirium again. Any time Cesc talks, we all gather to listen and it splits my timeline on Twitter in half. Half are crying themselves to sleep remembering Cesc in an Arsenal shirt, knee sliding after scoring the second against Spurs and the other half are irate at the afore mentioned for loving what they call a ‘traitor’. I personally can’t blame Cesc for wanting a move back to his boyhood club. Would I do the same to get a move to The Arsenal? To quote Bricktop from Snatch ‘You bet your bollocks to a barn dance’ I would. So let’s not get involved in all the bullshit, let’s rejoice the fact that one of the world’s best has such a strong love for The Arsenal and would like to return in one way or another. What’s happened has happened and besides, we’ve got Mesut now. Yes, it’s finally starting to sink in – he’s ours.
Onto the lunchtime kick off anyway – Selhurst Park 12:45. Palace will be without a manager and Keith Millen has stepped in to the caretaker role. Following Crystal Palace’s 1-4 drubbing against Fulham in the week and losing their boss, all signs point to an Arsenal victory after dispatching Norwich by the same score last week. Arsenal are enjoying a complete juxtapositional season to Crystal Palace, sitting top of the table and having lost only two games in all competitions. Crystal Palace will want to kick start their season, but Arsenal should have far too much for the home side. The form is also in Arsenal’s favour with Palace having lost their last six in a row.I’d like to see some rotation for this match that could benefit all in our squad. Nicklas Bendtner, Nacho Monreal, Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson could all benefit from some first team action and the players they would replace (Olivier Giroud, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna) would earn a well deserved rest. With a very tough few weeks coming up, we could see squad rotation come into play against Palace.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 13 away games, including eleven wins.
- Crystal Palace have only won two out of 26 previous league meetings against Arsenal.
- Crystal Palace haven’t kept a clean sheet all season – Only Sunderland haven’t either.
- The Eagles have lost their last five league matches.
- Arsenal have scored three times the league goals The Eagles have this season (18 to 6)
- Arsenal – Flamini could return after his concussion sustained against Norwich. Jack Wilshere was withdrawn in midweek but could face a late fitness test. Mesut Özil is available after playing Dortmund with what Arsene described as a virus. Theo Walcott, Sanogo, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diaby all remain sidelined.
- Crystal Palace – Only captain Paddy McCarthy and Glenn Murray are sidelined for this match.
Crystal Palace (Possible, 4-3-3): Speroni; Ward, Mariappa, Delaney, Moxey; Dikgacoi, Campana, Jedinak; Puncheon, Chamakh, Bolasie.
Arsenal (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla; Ozil; Giroud