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Sunday’s lone Premier League game will have big ramifications at both ends of the table.
With a win over Crystal Palace, league leaders Arsenal would go into the final international break of the season eight points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand.
Palace, meanwhile, are firmly in the relegation battle, just three points clear of the relegation zone.
Can Palace hope to pull off one of the biggest results of the season?
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal selection
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace were one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League last season.
The Eagles punched above their weight en route to a 12th-place finish and their expected goal difference suggested they deserved even better.
Palace’s defense was the driving force behind their success as the Eagles finished seventh in goals conceded and fifth in goals scored.
It is this defensive performance that made Crystal Palace a hot option for the 2022-23 season.
Palace then backed up all that hype with a superb performance on the opening day of the season.
Despite losing 2-0 to Arsenal, Palace looked a tough nut to crack and probably deserved a better result on the day. Everything was looking up for the Eagles.
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried ZahaGetty Images
Unfortunately, things have gone from bad to worse since that day.
The Eagles have struggled in every phase of the game, but the defense has completely lost ground compared to what we saw in 2021-22.
The Eagles are 12th in goals conceded on non-penalty goals, 13th in big scoring opportunities and are the fourth worst team in the circuit at preventing opponents from entering their 18-yard box.
It’s a strange turn of events considering it’s basically the same unit we saw last year with the same director.
Arsenal should have no problem breaking down this Palace defence.
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The Gunners take more shots and create more box chances than any team in the Premier League and come second in goals expected and great goal chances created.
Arsenal can name their score on Sunday.
That said, some cracks are starting to show in Arsenal’s defence.
After a brilliant first half of the season, the Gunners have seen their defensive numbers dip a bit since the World Cup break.
Arsenal still boast one of the best defenses in the world, but their form has wavered and Palace could find a way to score.
Arsenal should make most of the weight over 3.5, but Palace could also contribute.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal prediction
Over 3.5 goals (+195, FanDuel)