BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes Arsenal and Crystal Palace will score in Thursday’s Premier League clash, but feels it will be a close affair.
Arsenal continue their winter schedule with a short trip to Crystal Palace on Thursday night. Roy Hodgson’s side are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games. The Gunners, meanwhile, have won just once in their last four games.
Unsurprisingly, Lawrenson believes the game will end in a score draw. “Crystal Palace got another positive result with their point at Swansea on Saturday and it is clear Roy Hodgson’s methods are working,” he told the BBC.
“Like Sam Allardyce, Hodgson is very good at setting his teams up to deny the opposition space and making them very difficult to beat. The Eagles turned Arsenal over 3-0 in this fixture at the end of last season, when Allardyce was in charge.
“Palace’s fans will make plenty of noise again because they always really get behind their team – the atmosphere at Selhurst Park is one of the best in the top flight.
“Arsenal also remain extremely inconsistent, but a repeat of that result from March is asking a lot from Palace despite their recent form, and I am going to go for a draw.”
Arsenal visited Selhurst Park in the middle of a poor run of form last season. Palace, who were seeking to escape relegation at the time, stormed to a 3-0 win.
Hopefully, Arsenal will be a lot more focused this time around. Our away form has been concerning this season, however, as we’ve won just twice on the road.
Scoring goals has been the issue, as we’ve found the net only nine times, with five of those goals coming in a 5-2 against Everton in October.
Four of our five defeats have come away from the Emirates Stadium, and with two away games coming up, Arsenal need to urgently address their approach as the travelling team.
Palace, meanwhile, have drawn five of their last eight games. Given the circumstances, a stalemate looks to be a safe prediction.