The second weekend of the Premier League season draws to a close on Monday night when the third London derby of the round of games takes place at Selhurst Park when Crystal Palace play host to Arsenal.
Both these sides were winners in the opening week of the season so whoever comes out on top here will be one of just three teams with a perfect record in the division after two games. The pressure might be off both so hopefully we get a good game here.
Where to watch
The match will be shown in the Monday Night Football programme on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. The build-up begins at the new time of 6.30pm and kick off comes at 8pm.
There was a little bit of doom and gloom around the prognosis from many as far as Crystal Palace were concerned heading into the season. I think that was understandable when you consider that they lost Wilfried Zaha in the summer and there was talk that Michael Olise would also leave the club, although to their credit Palace look like they have managed to retain his services. Nevertheless, a good start to the season was needed to silence the doubters and an opening win was very much welcome with that in mind.
They saw off newly promoted Sheffield United and while it is fair to say that tougher tests will come their way, it was positive that they were able to go on the road and win and keep a clean sheet at the same time. Palace are usually a threat at home and they will hope that remains the case in this one. If they can cause Arsenal problems and use their pace and flair in the final third they will hope to get something out of this game.
Arsenal were also winners of their opening match. They beat Nottingham Forest at home and although they were never in too much danger having got in front fairly early, it probably wasn’t the convincing performance that the Gunners would have wanted, although they did have to deal with a reshuffle after the season ending injury to Jurrien Timber. They will be looking to go through the gears and perform better in this one.
I don’t think there are any concerns over Arsenal from an attacking point of view. They were very good going forward last term and have spent big in the summer to ensure they can go again in that regard but it was defensively where they were found wanting a little last season and their summer signing going down for the remainder of the season opens up a few doubts in that regard. A new goalkeeper certainly helps the equation though.
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Crystal Palace are expected to have Marc Guehi available even though he limped out of the win over Sheffield United last weekend. They are unlikely to have Michael Olise or Will Hughes though as both are injured.
Arsenal will be forced into a change for this match with Jurrien Timber now out for the foreseeable future. Oleksandr Zinchenko featured in a behind closed doors friendly with Luton on Thursday and could be the man to come in.
These two met on the opening night of the season a year ago and Arsenal were fairly comfortable 2-0 winners and I expect something similar in this game. Palace might be a little more competitive given their recent improvements under Roy Hodgson but there is so much quality in this Arsenal squad that I find it hard to believe that they won’t get the job done, whether it is comfortable or in a close run thing.
If Crystal Palace had Michael Olise fit I might give them more of a chance but he is a huge loss and I always worry about the chance conversion quality of the Palace forwards. There are no issues in that regard with Arsenal. Their front three are great finishers and with Arsenal expected to dominate the ball through the likes of Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard this just looks like a tough time for Palace to be hosting the runners-up from last term. I like Arsenal here.
Back Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway