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Crystal Palace vs Arsenal – Match Preview

The final action of this Premier League weekend takes us to Selhurst Park this evening as another London derby is on the horizon with Crystal Palace playing host to Arsenal. Both teams are in need of three points but for far differing reasons.

Sam Allardyce will no doubt be glad that both Swansea and Hull failed to pick up any points from their respective matches on Saturday, so therefore it is as you were at the bottom of the table with Palace three points clear of the dropzone while also having the added bonus of playing two games less than their relegation rivals.

Their impressive winning streak was bought to an end last Wednesday as they failed to make it five straight wins with defeat away at Southampton. It looked at one point that they would make it 15 points from their last five matches after going going ahead at St Mary’s

But Southampton would not only restore parity but also snatch a late winner as Maya Yoshida earned the South Coast all three points. A disappointing result for Palace but they will be relieved at the fact that Swansea had a late and more dramatic collapse of their own at The Liberty Stadium.

With results going their way on Saturday this is almost a free hit with the visit of Arsenal, obviously they would love to get points on the board and further increase the gap over both Hull and Swansea but they are going to have their work cut out if that is to be the case.

They will have to channel the performance that they turned in against Chelsea just over a week ago if they are to have any joy. That said this is an Arsenal that is still taking small steps in it’s bid to make sure that their season does not fizzle out between now and May.

Results have definitely not gone Arsenal’s way as the four clubs above them at the start of the weekend and Manchester United all managed to pick up maximum points, that means that not only is the pressure on Arsenal to match those results but they now find themselves 6th in the table.

Add into the mix the fact that Everton are now level on points, albeit having played three games more and you can see that their is very little of not no margin for error for Arsene Wenger’s men. Failure to win this evening and it woul take Champions League qualification out of their own hands.

They gave their hopes of a top four finish a huge boost after a comfortable win over West Ham last Wednesday. The North London side beat their cross city counterparts in convincing fashion with a 3-0 win at The Emirates, giving them 4 points from their last two matches.

It was a welcome win and one that allowed them to build on the draw they earned at home to Manchester City just over a week ago. Those two results have just quietened the storm surrounding Arsene Wenger and the ongoing uncertainty in regards to his future at the club.

That said you get the feeling that he is only one negative result away from the papered cracks showing again and the toxic atmosphere that will once again be generated between the clubs fanbase. Every game is important at this point of the season but there is a lot more riding on this final handful of games for Wenger and his players.

The same can obviously be said for Palace as they look for the 9 or so points needed to secure their Premier League status for another season. Can they manage to move a step closer to their target with an all important win this evening.

They are certainly the form side out of the two teams but you also have to feel that Arsenal are coming out of their rut and are ready to start their end of season run of wins like they have done so many other times over the years, as we have learned by now never right them off.

And I think that win over West Ham will have just given the squad a timely boost as we enter the final furlong of the season. If Palace lose this one then nothing changes in the beat the drop so there’s no crisis on the horizon but the same cannot be said for The Gunners. That said I reckon this one will be an away win.

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