Four reasons why Arsenal will beat Crystal Palace
Shona Duthie takes a look ahead to Arsenal's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday
Last weekend was not in the script
The pre-season anticipation was that Arsenal, with their new goalkeeper Petr Cech in tow, would give Chelsea the much-needed competition that was slightly lacking from last season. Arsenal’s pre-season got off to a fine start, winning the Emirates Cup and Community Shield. However, the excitement all came crashing down in a 2-0 loss to West Ham at Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Losses are few and far between at Arsenal’s home ground as they only suffered defeat twice at home last season – to Manchester United and Swansea City. The Emirates appeared to be a bogie ground for The Hammers as they had not beaten the north London side in eight years. However, West Ham proved to be the better team on the day and Arsenal lost the excitement and spark for the season ahead.
Arsenal desperate for their first win
Pundits, managers and fans have all backed Arsenal to return to winning ways at Selhurst Park. However, Crystal Palace are not an easy team to beat. Selhurst Park is a tough ground and teams often struggle to get the result they need at the Croydon-based club. With the signing of Yohan Cabaye, Arsenal will need to be careful on their trip to Palace on Sunday. However, coming off of a 2-0 loss at home, the players and Arsene Wenger will be more than determined to ensure Arsenal secure the three points. Reports claimed Wenger kept the squad in the dressing room for 45 minutes after the loss to West Ham. Palace will know that the Gunners will be on the attack to ensure they win their first game of the 2015-16 season. Goalkeeper Cech received plenty of criticism last weekend, but Invincibles legend Jens Lehmann backed the Czech Republic international to go on and have a successful season for the Gunners. Cech will be out to prove his doubters wrong and Palace will have to be on top form to ensure they defeat Arsenal at their home ground or earn a draw.
Back-to-back loses are few and far between for Arsenal
It was back in November 2014 that Arsenal last lost back to back games in the Premier League. They lost 2-1 to Swansea and 2-1 to Manchester United. Arsenal tend to suffer one surprise defeat and go onto win their next game or draw and it will be a huge surprise if Palace are able to condemn the Gunners to another defeat in the league. However, Palace beat Norwich 3-1 last week which means they will be on a high. With this being their first home game of the season, Palace will want to give their home fans a game worth remembering. Alan Pardew will know what is needed to defeat Arsenal. It will be a tough game where one team may sneak a win. With Arsenal’s statistics and the fact they are travelling to Selhurst Park on the back of a loss, it would seem they once again head into the game as favourites for the three points.
Palace’s record v Arsenal
Unfortunately for Crystal Palace, their record against Arsenal is not pretty. They have lost every game against the Gunners since February 2005. And since they were promoted back into the Premier League in 2013, Arsenal have won every match, home and away. Before that, Palace last recorded a win against Arsenal in 1994 – a 2-1 triumph at Highbury before Arsene Wenger’s appointment. Looking further back, Palace last beat Arsenal 1-0 at Selhurst in 1979. These records suggest that Arsenal is the ones more likely to win out of the two teams. However, they last drew in November 2004. It could be possible that the teams will share the points at the highly anticipated game on Sunday.