Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Premier League match preview
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Football Insider looks ahead to the Sunday lunchtime derby showdown at Selhurst Park between Arsenal and West Ham.
KICK-OFF TIME: Sunday, 1.30pm
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1, highlights on BBC1
IT’S A BIG GAME FOR…
Petr Cech. Unexpectedly proved to be Arsenal’s weakest link on a disastrous Premier League debut for his new club, although Arsene Wenger was at pains to point out that the team’s defending against West Ham also left much to be desired. Cech has not won every trophy worth winning without being able to cope with setbacks, and will be keen to prove that his powers have not been diminished by the passing of time or his £11million move from west to north London.
PLAYER TO WATCH…
Wilfried Zaha. Since returning to Selhurst Park has shown only glimpses of the form that persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to make him his last-ever Manchester United signing. But remains a firm fans’ favourite with his pace and box of tricks, and is a huge weapon to Alan Pardew’s team on the counter-attack. Was given the nod over Yannick Bolasie to start at Norwich and responded with the game’s opening goal, only the sixth of his second spell at Palace.
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Premier League: Crystal Palace 1 (Murray) Arsenal 2 (Cazorla, Giroud), February 2015
Premier League: Arsenal 2 (Koscielny, Ramsey) Crystal Palace 1 (Hangeland), August 2014
Premier League: Arsenal 2 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 2) Crystal Palace 0, February 2014
Palace’s Finnish midfielder Aki Riihilahti scored this equalising goal against Arsenal’s Invincibles in a 1-1 draw from November 2004.
Arsenal in 2015/16: L
Crystal Palace in 2015/16: W
Crystal Palace to win – 29/10 (888.com)
HOW WILL THEY LINE UP…
Arsenal (possible): Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.
West Ham (possible): McCarthy; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Cabaye, McArthur Zedinak; Zaha, Puncheon; Wickham
EXPERT VERDICT… Cech to put West Ham misery behind him and Arsenal to open their league account with win.