Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Crystal Palace v Arsenal
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime
Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime.
The Gunners recorded their first Premier League victory under Mikel Arteta on New Year’s Day thanks to a 2-0 win against Manchester United at The Emirates.
Goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis Papastathopoulos secured three points for the north London outfit against their bitter rivals to end Arteta’s two-game winless run.
Arsenal followed up their victory over Manchester United with a narrow 1-0 win against Championship side Leeds United in the FA Cup third round on Monday night.
The Gunners will be hoping to win three successive games for the first time since September this weekend.
Crystal Palace have only lost one of their last eight Premier League games to move to within the cusp of their best-ever points total after 22 fixtures.
BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
“I was very impressed by the way Leeds started against Arsenal in their FA Cup tie on Monday but the Gunners did well in the second half and ended up getting a good win,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“Mikel Arteta’s side also beat Manchester United on New Year’s Day, and are looking to put a little run of wins together. Although they clearly still have some issues at the back, I have a feeling they might just kick on.
“These two teams have had some real ding-dong battles in recent seasons so this will be a good yardstick to measure Arsenal’s progress under Arteta.
“It is this type of fixture which shows how competitive you are. I don’t mean playing well and winning, I am talking about how you react when you have to battle a bit.
“Palace will compete in every area of the pitch and, if Arsenal are going to win again, they will have to earn it.”
Arsenal have lost just two of their last 19 visits to Selhurst Park in the English top flight.
However, Palace are unbeaten in their last three Premier League meetings with Arsenal.
The Gunners are in tenth position in the Premier League table and nine points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC.
Crystal Palace are in ninth spot and a point ahead of Arsenal.