Arsenal v Palace: Injury update, prediction & likely lineups

EPL By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 20/04/2019

Arsenal host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Easter Sunday knowing that anything other than victory could see them surrender the initiative in a fiercely-competitive top-four race.

The Gunners impressively overcame Napoli in Italy during the week, with Alexandre Lacazette's strike securing a 1-0 victory on the night and a comfortable 3-0 win over the piece, but while they have a European trophy on the line, their priority for now will be securing a Champions League place through the Premier League.

However, Palace will be no pushovers, even at the Emirates but the Eagles are no longer in any real danger at the bottom, and with the shackles off, they came pretty close to upsetting Manchester City last weekend, so Arsenal will know what they are in for here.

Team News

Aaron Ramsey may have played his final game for Arsenal after limping off against Napoli in midweek, although Unai Emery remains hopeful that the Welshman will be able to return before completing his switch to Juventus.

Gunners trio of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck, who are all out long-term, Arsenal will be without the suspended Sokratis, while Lucas Torreira recovered from a blow which saw him subbed at half-time against Watford to feature against Napoli.

For Palace, first choice central defensive pairing Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins are expected to miss out again, while an update is awaited over Jeffrey Schlupp, who was forced off in the 3-1 defeat to last weekend.

Head to Head

Arsenal have dominated this fixture down the years, winning 28 and losing just four of the previous 44 encounters across all competitions - including just one defeat in their last 18.

Palace have only ever beaten Arsenal twice away from home, and never at the Emirates with their most recent one coming at Highbury in October 1994 - the Eagles' only top-flight away win over the Gunners in 18 attempts.

However, Hodgson's side did hold Arsenal to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture and could avoid defeat in both league encounters of a single season for the first time since 1979-80.

Recent Form

Arsenal's recent form is really a tale of two tapes. Wins over Watford and Napoli on the road this week have gone some way to dispelling their struggles away from home, but generally, their away form has been dreadful.

At the Emirates, where Palace travel on Sunday, however, it's a different story altogether. They have won their last ten matches on home turf, and haven't lost a game there since Manchester City turned them over back in August.

Palace, meanwhile, have been pretty inconsistent, but much of that can be put down to some difficult games. They have won two of their last five in the Premier League, but faced Tottenham and Manchester City in that time, so it's hardly an entirely fair barometer.

Away from home, they've won four from their last five in the league - so they know how to get results.

Arsenal possible starting lineup: Leno; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup: Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Dann, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Zaha; Batshuayi

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Palace