It’s fair to say that Arsene Wenger and Sam Allardyce have never been on each other’s Christmas card list and the two renew acquaintances on New Year’s Day at the Emirates.
- Crystal Palace have not won away against Arsenal since 1994
- Arsenal have lost just once at home in the Premier League this season and that was against Liverpool on the opening day
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Crystal Palace called in Firefighter Sam after an alarming run of results saw them flirt with the Premier League drop zone and Alan Pardew paid the price, sacked just before Christmas.
In Allardyce’s first game, Palace let slip a 1-0 lead to draw at Watford and things get no easier with a trip to North London. Palace have a dismal record against the Gunners and have never won at the Emirates.
After two successive defeats, Arsenal returned to winning ways on Boxing Day with a 1-0 win over West Brom at the Emirates. Olivier Giroud scored a late winner to keep the Gunners fourth in the Premier League.
Wenger will be looking to his key striker Alexis Sanchez to maintain his fine form against the Eagles. He has 12 goals already this term and will be heavily backed in the first goalscorer and anytime scorer markets.
Crystal Palace must plug their leaky defence urgently and maybe Allardyce is the man to get them organised. They have conceded 33 in the Premier League this season which is the third worst and one of the reasons they have won only once in their last 12.
Allardyce famously frustrated Arsenal many times while manager of Bolton but it’s hard to see him making a sudden impact at Palace.
You have to go back to 1994 for the last time the Eagles won away from home against the Gunners when John Salako scored twice in a 2-1 win at Highbury.
The sides last met in April when it ended 1-1 at the Emirates Stadium. Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead before Yannick Bolasie equalised nine minutes from the end.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace Match Betting Odds
The home side are 1/3 with SkyBet for the win while Palace are 17/2 with Betfred. A draw is 11/2 with Betfair. In the both teams to score market, yes and no are the same price 10/11 with Bet365. Given the Gunners are odds on for this one, I’m going for Arsenal to lead at half time and full time which is evens with Coral.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace First Goalscorer Odds
It won’t surprise you to learn that Alexis Sanchez dominates this market and is 3/1 to score first with Paddy Power. Olivier Giroud (7/2) and Danny Wellbeck (4/1) also have some backing. Christian Benteke is as big as 10/1 to open the scoring for Palace while there’s a bit more value in Mesut Ozil (15/2) and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (9/1).
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