Having lost ground on Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners need to rediscover their form. We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League match with our Arsenal vs Crystal Palace prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Stats: The Quick Hits
- Arsenal are predicted to beat Crystal Palace in this match, with the Opta supercomputer predicting a win for the Gunners in 58% of pre-game simulations.
- Bukayo Saka has been involved in 15 goals in his last 18 Premier League London derby matches, scoring six and assisting nine.
- Arsenal have lost their last three matches in all competitions, last losing four in a row in March 2018.
A spirited draw at fellow Premier League title contenders Liverpool had Arsenal celebrating Christmas at the top of the tree, but Mikel Arteta’s side must now find a way to respond when they host Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on Saturday after three disappointing losses followed that Anfield clash.
Arsenal manager Arteta may have been wishing for more clinical finishing and improved set-piece defending in his New Year’s resolutions after a profligate showing saw his side fall to a surprise 2-0 home defeat to West Ham United on 28 December before a similarly poor showing resulted in a 2-1 reverse against Fulham on New Year’s Eve.
Bukayo Saka‘s early opener proved entirely redundant at Craven Cottage against Fulham, who roared back with goals from Raúl Jiménez and Bobby De Cordova-Reid to ensure Arsenal wrapped up their 2023 with back-to-back defeats to London rivals. Those derby-day blues leave Arteta’s men fourth in the league table, five points adrift of leaders Liverpool and three behind both Aston Villa and Manchester City, although the latter pair already played in last weekend’s first five Matchday 21 fixtures.
There was no redemption in the FA Cup third round either for Arsenal as Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool dealt another psychological blow with a 2-0 triumph at the Emirates, where a Jakub Kiwior own goal and Luis Díaz’s late strike did the damage. Arsenal have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions, losing each of their last three – their fewest wins over a seven-game period under Arteta, who will at least hope to have Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko back for Saturday’s kick-off.
Jesus’ return should take some of the attacking burden from Saka, who has been involved in 15 goals in his last 18 Premier League London derby matches, scoring six and assisting nine – three of those came in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in this exact fixture last term. The rest of Arsenal’s team news is as expected: Jurriën Timber, Thomas Partey and Fábio Vieira all remain out injured, while Japan’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny are competing at the Asia Cup and Africa Cup of Nations respectively.
After a similarly underwhelming December, pressure appeared to be mounting on Palace manager Roy Hodgson, though his side ended an eight-game winless run in the league with a 3-1 victory over London rivals Brentford at Selhurst Park in their last top-flight outing. Michael Olise scored twice along with a goal for Eberechi Eze.
However, a much-needed Premier League triumph came at a cost as Olise suffered a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury and will subsequently miss the remainder of January having already sat out of a 1-1 draw with Everton in the FA Cup third round and the defeat in Wednesday’s replay.
On Saturday, Palace will be looking to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2023, when they won each of their first three following Hodgson’s return to the club, to lift them from their 14th-place league-table position. They sit just five points clear of 18th-placed Luton Town heading into this weekend’s MD 21 clashes, although the reported points deduction for Nottingham Forest and Everton may ease relegation fears at Selhurst Park.
Hodgson remains without Joel Ward, Sam Johnstone, Rob Holding, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Cheick Doucouré, while Ghana’s Jordan Ayew is at the AFCON, though the veteran manager can rely upon one star who will hit a milestone at the Emirates. Eze will likely make his 100th Premier League appearance in this match, the 19th player to do so for Palace. Aged 25 years and 205 days when Saturday’s kick-off comes, he’d be the third youngest to reach the milestone for the Eagles, after Tyrick Mitchell (24y 15d) and Wilfried Zaha (24y 192d).
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Head-to-Head
Palace have struggled on their trips to the Emirates, winning just one of their last 12 away Premier League games at Arsenal (D4 L7), with their only victory in that period coming in a 3-2 triumph in April 2019 thanks to goals from Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur.
Arsenal have won their last three league games against Palace, too, having previously managed just one win in eight Premier League matches with the Selhurst Park side (D5 L2) from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
That three-game winning streak includes a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture this season as Martin Ødegaard’s 54th-minute penalty proved the difference despite Takehiro Tomiyasu’s sending off 13 minutes after the opener.
Arteta must atone for a poor run of form as Arsenal have taken just four points from their last 15 available in the Premier League, winning once, drawing once and losing three. They had only dropped nine points from their opening 15 league games this season beforehand (W11 D3 L1).
Including the FA Cup defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates, Arsenal have lost their last three matches in all competitions, last losing four in a row in March 2018. Their last two at home have both finished in 2-0 defeats (Liverpool and West Ham) – they’ve not lost three in a row at home without scoring since a run of four in November/December 1908.
Having suffered back-to-back defeats against fellow capital-city clubs Fulham and West Ham, Arsenal have lost their last two Premier League London derby matches, as many as in their previous 25 combined (W17 D6). The Gunners haven’t lost three consecutive such London derbies in the league since March 1993.
However, Palace have also picked up fewer points in Premier League London derbies this season than any other side (six – W1 D3 L3). Away from home, Hodgson’s men have won just one of their last 17 matches against fellow London clubs (D9 L7), a 2-1 victory at West Ham in November 2022.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Declan Rice: 81.1 (out of 100)
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 79.7
Martin Ødegaard: 79.2
Ben White: 74.8
Bukayo Saka: 74.0
Marc Guéhi: 74.8 (out of 100)
Joachim Andersen: 74.0
Tyrick Mitchell: 72.0
Odsonne Édouard: 66.0
Eberechi Eze: 64.9
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Prediction
Opta’s pre-match supercomputer predictions suggest nothing other than an Arsenal win, with Arteta’s side triumphing in 58.0% of 10,000 simulations compared to a Palace victory in 17.1% and a draw in 24.9%.
Owing to their poor December form, Arsenal’s title chances have slipped down to 2.7% – with Man City as favourites at 64.3% and Liverpool their closest challengers at 31.2% – though their top-four hopes are at 80.5% in Opta’s season predictions.
Meanwhile, Palace finish 14th – their current league-table position – in 19.4% of the data-led season scenarios, though their relegation chances have edged up to 4.3%.