FOOTBALL

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Mon: Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira will make his return to Arsenal – 16 years after leaving the club as a player – when he takes his Crystal Palace side to face the Gunners in an intriguing Premier League clash on Monday night at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have recovered well from an appalling start to the Premier League campaign, going unbeaten in the league since losing their first three matches against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City without even scoring a goal.

That improved run also included a superb North London derby triumph over Tottenham Hotspur, blowing Nuno Santo Espirito’s side away in a scintillating first 45 minutes which included goals from Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.

Mikel Arteta’s side were probably lucky to come away with a point from their last outing against Brighton, though. The Seasiders were the dominant force and created more clear-cut chances but were unable to find a way past Aaron Ramsdale.

They will need to improve if they’re to climb up the table and fulfil the pre-season expectation of heading back towards those coveted European places.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Premier League
20:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAY 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal
JAN 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace
JAN 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal
OCT 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace

Vieira can certainly expect a warm reception when he makes his return to Arsenal on Monday night, but there’s little doubt that the former midfield powerhouse will be desperate to get one over on his former employers.

It’s been a mixed bag of results so far for Vieira, which perhaps isn’t surprising considering the huge re-building job he had on his hands over the summer. The Eagles currently sit 14th in the Premier League, just four points above the drop-zone, but will be buoyed by their 2-2 comeback draw against Leicester City last time out.

New signing Michael Olise has caught the eye since arriving from Reading in the summer. He was pivotal in that comeback against the Foxes and already looks to be a shrewd piece of business from Palace.

One of the key things behind Arsenal’s upturn in form is the tightening up in defence. The introduction of Ramsdale between the sticks and the signing of Takehiro Tomiyasu have been pivotal in the Gunners’ back-line becoming sturdier.

We’re backing them to get the win with under 2.5 goals in the match.

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