Crystal Palace vs ArsenalEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Jan 11, 2020, Selhurst Park
MIKEL ARTETA has quickly stamped his authority on the Arsenal squad and it will be interesting to see if he can help them negotiate a tricky away day at Crystal Palace.
The Spaniard followed up the impressive win over Manchester United by seeing off Leeds in the FA Cup and it was his half-time team talk that made the difference.
Arteta blew his top after watching the Championship side totally outplay the Gunners in the first half, with only some fine saves by Emiliano Martinez keeping the score level.
His rant had the desired effect as Reiss Nelson netted the winner in a much improved second-half display and they now head to Selhurst Park looking to win three consecutive games for the first time since September.
Crystal Palace didn't fare as well against a Championship club in the FA Cup, crashing out to Derby, but have lost just one of their last eight Premier League matches. So this promises to be a tight match, with the Eagles a point ahead of Arsenal in midtable.
How the bookies see it
Roy Hodgson's side have only lost at home in the league this season to Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City but are still 33/10 outsiders with BetVictor.
Arsenal are odds-on with every firm and the best price on Arteta's side is 9/10 with Marathonbet. A draw is 29/10 with the same bookie and that will attract a few punters.
Despite the improvement since Arteta's arrival, the Gunners are still far from the finished article so I'll be backing Palace in the double chance market, which pays on a win or draw, at 101/100 with Marathonbet.
Recent head to head
It ended 2-2 when these sides faced off at the Emirates earlier this season, Palace coming from 2-0 down to claim an unlikely point thanks to a Luka Milivojevic penalty and a strike from Jordan Ayew.
The Eagles are unbeaten in their last three games against the Gunners, with last season's showdowns seeing them win 3-2 at the Emirates after another 2-2 draw at Selhurst Palace (below). But Arsenal held the upper hand before that, winning 11 of the previous 12 encounters.
Players to watch
Palace midfielder Milivojevic loves a penalty against the Gunners, netting three of them in the last three encounters, including two in the last meeting at Selhurst Park.
But the Serb will sit this one out, with his appeal against the red card against Derby last weekend booted out. Backing a penalty to be awarded for either side is a tempting 11/5 with BoyleSports on its own.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the clash with Leeds due to illness but should return here. He has two goals in last three games against Palace but is a best 49/50 with Unibet to net here.
Instead, I'll be backing Alexandre Lacazette, who turned in a fine display in the Cup. The Frenchman is 13/10 with Ladbrokes to find the net in this one.
Anything else catch the eye?
Quite how Granit Xhaka dodged a card against Leeds remains a mystery as he made at least three tackles that merited a booking. The Swiss chopper is 19/10 with Unibet to be carded here and I'll be having a piece of that.
I went for goals when Arsenal faced Leeds only to be frustrated by some wasteful finishing by Marcelo Bielsa's men and the heroics of Martinez.
There have been at least four goals in each of the last five meetings between the sides but I've a feeling this one may buck the trend. Under 2.5 strikes pays 11/10 at Unibet and I fancy that to come up. If you think another thriller is on the cards then over 3.5 goals is 2/1 with BetVictor.
This English Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal will be played on Jan 11, 2020 and kick off at 12:30