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Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal: ‘Rejuvenated Gunners backed to beat Eagles’

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Arsenal head to Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime (12:30 GMT) in much better spirits after a positive start to life under new manager Mikel Arteta.

So far in 2020 it’s two wins and two clean sheets from two games for the Gunners after defeating Manchester United in the league and Leeds United in the FA Cup.

However, they remain a point behind their opponents on Saturday, with Crystal Palace only four wins from the magical 40-point mark.

Games such as this one are becoming something of a bonus for Roy Hodgson’s side with relegation looking improbable at this stage.

This may factor into the bookmakers’ odds, with Arsenal 5/6 odds-on favourites to win the match at Selhurst Park.

The draw is 29/10, with a home win 3/1.

The two sides last met in October, with Arsenal throwing away a two-goal lead at the Emirates to draw 2-2.

Both of Arsenal’s early goals profited from uncharacteristically sloppy defending from set-pieces from Palace, and it’s unlikely they will be gifted in the same manner at Selhurst Park.

It’s likely to be a more conventional goalscorer than defenders Sokratis and David Luiz, as it was in that meeting, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 19/20 to add to his league tally of 13 for the season so far.

Eight of the 13 have come away from home, and the Gabon international was rested for Monday night’s victory over Leeds, meaning he will be fresh to terrorise Palace’s defence.

Alexandre Lacazette won the BBC’s man of the match award for his tireless display in leading the line against Leeds, and the Frenchman is 13/10 to score his first goal under Mikel Arteta.

Midfielder Luka Milivojevic, who scored a penalty at the Emirates, Is suspended for this match. It remains to be seen who would replace him as Palace’s penalty-taker should they win one during his absence.

Patrick van Aanholt scored one in October but the full-back is likely to be one of 11 first-team players unavailable for this match in what has turned into a full-blown injury crisis and may make Arsenal good value.

They should have Wilfried Zaha and Jordon Ayew in attack at least, however, who are 5/2 and 14/5 respectively to score for the home side.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.

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