Arsenal will face Palace at home at a perfect time. We are in need of points as we have just dropped to second place and this fixture lines up with ManchesterCity vs Chelsea (the two teams close to us in the table). Ideally, they will draw and both drop points, giving us the task of just picking up the win to take back first spot.
We face a fairly weak Palace side at home. We are unbeaten in our last ten home games, seven of those in the Premier League. Arsenal should theoretically be able to pick up the points and hopefully go back to the top of the league.
This fixture last time:
Last time this fixture was played, we had a very shaky game before Giroud sealed it in the dying minutes (1-0). We didn’t outplay them, and we should be wary of any team managed by Tony Pulis, as we always seem to struggle against them.
I expect Wenger to use this DM injury crisis to give Ox his chance to prove himself in the middle.
Other than that, I see very few changes occurring. Wenger doesn’t like many changes in between games. He’d rather rotate one, maybe two players. So I expect Gibbs and Ox to come in and not much else to change. This is a team that definitely should beat Palace by two or three goals.
Giroud vs Crystal Palace:
CrystalPalace is managed by Tony Pulis. That means they are a very defensive team and will not concede much. Giroud will have to take on all 11 of Palace’s defenders to put a goal by them.
Ozil vs himself:
Ozil has struggled to replicate some of his incredible Real Madrid performances this season. However, last game he really began looking like his old self. I think he’s finally settling into the league and will soon be at his best. The game against Palace would be an excellent place to start.
Podolski vs Wenger:
Ever since arriving, Wenger seems reluctant to start Poldi and/or play him for a full game. However, he has looked hungrier than ever lately and this would be the game to show Wenger he can take Gnabry or Santi’s spot in the starting line-up.
Casualties of War:
Ramsey continues to be out with mysterious issues. Walcott is still out for the season with his ACL issue. Wilshere will miss the game with a knock and Flamini is suspended from a fairly boneheaded tackle last game.
Parr is expected to be out with a concussion. Dikgacoi is out with a calf injury. Jerome Thomas is out with a groin injury.
I predict a 3-0 to the Arsenal. A big response to a poor performance in the Villa game. Giroud will get a tap in, Gnabry will finally grab that screamer from range he’s been looking for with his long shots lately, and Ozil will score a very Bergkampesque goal to round off the game.
A Special Q and A!
My mother is a die-hard Gooner who has had passion for the club as long as I have. TA has been asking my mom to write a post for a short time and until now she has respectfully declined, saying she may one day. But for now, I’ve decided another Gooner’s perspective would be refreshing, especially a woman’s perspective.
Q: What did you think of Arsenal’s performance in the January torture window?
A: Lame. Unacceptable for a big club. We knew we had injury problems; targets should’ve been established ahead of time and signed swiftly. We failed to address these issues and that’s wrong.
Q: What is this squad still lacking?
A: I agree with Totes. A beast of a DM and a SQ striker would really fill out the squad. But I love Giroud and don’t want him replaced.
Q: What are your predictions for the Palace game?
A: We certainly should be able to win, but we have to focus from the starting whistle and can’t have a poor first half as we have had of late. The team can’t take this game lightly. Don’t underestimate Palace and we have to make sure to boost our goal differential and make a statement.
Q: What is your predicted top 6 for the end of the season?
A: ManchesterCity, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United in that order. It is a tough call between Everton and Liverpool. Suarez and Sturridge, and the Everton injuries, are what pushes Liverpool above, despite me wanting to see Everton there more.
Q: What is your opinion of Wenger?
A: I love him. I admire him greatly. I do have to question his decisions once and a while especially with substitutions. He seems to wait to long at times and doesn’t do enough to change games. Overall I love him and trust him greatly, but there are times where he is questionable and needs to act faster. Wenger time at the 70th minute is sometimes too late to make game changing tactics adjustments.
Q: Who is your favorite Arsenal player?
A: At this moment in time, it’s just, and this is a weird answer, team spirit. The way all the players have connected and been together has been amazing. Fighting for each other every minute of every game. I’ve never seen such spirit in this team, granted I haven’t watched for more than a few seasons, but still it’s incredible. I absolutely love it. That is what has made the difference this season.
Q: What do you hope for by the end of the season?
A: I would like to keep the same spirit. I’d love a trophy, but we won’t win the league. With all the injuries I’m not sure we will win the FA Cup. It is entirely possible though. Bayern will likely knock us out in the Champion’s League as sad as it is. Ideally I’d love a second place finish and some smart signings in the summer to really strengthen our team.
1. What are your predictions for the game?
2. What is your preferred line-up?
3. How do you think Chamakh will be received at the Emirates?
COYG! Let’s capture TOTL once more!
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written by: Dylan.