Battle of young and old in London derby


Crystal Palace welcome Arsenal to Selhurst Park in the Premier League’s Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

The League’s oldest boss, Roy Hodgson, 72, will come face to face with the League’s youngest manager, Mikel Arteta, 37.

The Eagles come into this one in some mixed form, despite being knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Derby County last weekend, they have only lost once in their previous six league fixtures.

The Gunners, on the other hand, have had a minor resurgence in Arteta’s first four games in charge, and have proceeded into round four of the Cup following their 1-0 victory on over Leeds United.

However, Arsenal did struggle in the first half against Leeds, leaving Arteta unimpressed by their first-half display. No doubt the Spaniard will hope the same does not occur this weekend. Palace are a sturdy side under former England boss, who will feel a boost of confidence going into this fixture after declaring that star-man Wilfried Zaha is fit enough to feature.

But Hodgson will no doubt make his players aware of the dangers the visitors can cause, especially through their front four of Mesut Ozil, Nicholas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and club top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang, who silenced the rumours of him leaving in this month’s window.

The last time these two came face-to-face was back in October, Arsenal raced into a two-goal lead after ten minutes, but the Croydon-based team came back to rescue a point from the Emirates. The game will be remembered for Granit Xhaka’s frustrations with the Arsenal supporters which subsequently led to him being stripped of the captaincy.

Team news

Luka Milivojevic has scored five goals against the North London side, including two penalties in last season’s clash at Selhurst Park. However, he is suspended following his sending off against Derby. In fact, the home side could have up to twelve players absent.

Jeff Schlupp and Andros Townsend have both suffered pelvic/hip injures and won’t be available until February. Joel Ward is also out until next month following a knee injury. Scott Dann has a calf injury, Patrick Van Aanholt and Mamadou Sakho have thigh problem, Max Meyer and Jairo Riedewald have picked up knocks. All of them with no set return dates.

Cenk Tosun signed for Palace on loan from Everton and is expected to feature according to Roy Hodgson. Victor Camarassa, Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha are all able to feature on Saturday.

For Arsenal – Calum Chambers is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Kieran Tierney is out until March following his shoulder dislocation. Hector Bellerin has a hamstring strain and could return for their home clash with Sheffield United next week.

Roy Hodgson on his sides current League position

“We have a lot of games to play. It is pleasant to go into games in a good position, but we know how quickly that can change. We have to give the type of performance necessary to get results. We have to go out and prove it by going and beating Arsenal tomorrow.”

Mikel Arteta has shown his admiration for the Palace boss in his Press Conference

“It is incredible how he deals with situations. To be living with this level of pressure for such a long time, the way he handles it, the way he behaves himself, the way he puts himself across, how respected he is around all the players and clubs, is remarkable. So I have big admiration for him.”


Arsenal wins: 28

Draws: 13

Crystal Palace wins: 5





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