Arsenal recommences their Premier League (PL) campaign this weekend safe in the knowledge that they enjoy an excellent record as a home favorite since the beginning of last season (W16, D3, L1). Ironically, they are unbeaten in PL home games since April, when last facing Crystal Palace.
Unai Emery’s team knows the importance of the first goal as they’re unbeaten in all four PL fixtures when opening the scoring (W3, D1). Yet while they’ve only conceded one second-half goal in PL encounters this season, they’ve actually been losing five times at half-time – the joint-highest tally in the league after nine rounds.
Crystal Palace travel optimistically knowing they defeated four top-half teams last season, including champions Man City, whilst this season they’ve already won at Man Utd. Scoring goals is the key to their success as they’ve only kept three clean sheets across their previous 20 PL away fixtures.
The ‘Eagles’ already have a 50% win ratio in PL matches this season when deemed the away outsider. Whilst only Newcastle and Watford have scored fewer goals, only five teams have conceded less than Palace in the PL. As such, their games average only 2.00 goals, with six finishing with under 2.5 goals.
Players to watch: Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 23 of his 39 PL goals in home fixtures (58.97%) – he netted in the last two H2Hs.
Crystal Palace has won nine of the 12 PL games in which defender Patrick van Aanholt has scored, including their last two PL away victories.
Stat attack: The last four H2Hs finished with over 3.5 goals, with three containing over 4.5 goals.
Arsenal are winless in four of the five PL games this season that they conceded first (W1, D2, L2).
Going into the weekend, Palace are one of just three PL clubs yet to score inside the opening 15 minutes.
Will not play
Referee: Atkinson M. (Eng),
Venue: Emirates Stadium (London)