Crystal Palace vs Arsenal news: Gunners look to cement fourth in London clash

The Gunners travel to Selhurst Park on Monday evening, knowing a win is crucial to their Champions League qualification hopes.

After opening the season miserably with three consecutive losses, Arsenal now find themselves challenging for the top four, and know their Champions League hopes still lie in their own hands.

With exactly 10 games remaining, Mikel Arteta's side hold the advantage over rivals Tottenham and Manchester United. What's more, the Gunners also boast games in hand.

However, Arsenal need to ensure they make the most of those games, with Crystal Palace first on the list. The Eagles currently sit in 12th and look mightily improved under new manager Patrick Vieira.

While they don't have too much to compete for in the remaining games,  Vieira will be encouraging his side to break into the top 10 with a positive result on Monday evening.

When: Monday, April 4, 20:00 GMT

Where: Selhurst Park, London

Where to watch: Sky Sports

Or follow live updates via our match centre

Who is the ref for Crystal Palace vs Arsenal?

Paul Tierney, referee

Paul Tierney takes charge of Monday's clash, which is set to be his 22nd appearance of the season.

Tierney has only taken charge of one Arsenal match this season, their 2-0 loss to Chelsea back in August. The 41-year-old official handed out three yellow cards, all to Arsenal players.

Palace fans have enjoyed better results under Tierney, after he officiated both their games against Norwich this season.

The first saw the Eagles win 3-0 with a penalty given and converted by Odsonne Edouard early on, while the second clash saw the two sides draw 1-1 back in February, which included Wilfried Zaha missing a penalty.

Recent form

Arsenal celebrate their win over Wolves, Mar2022

Mikel Arteta's recent Manager of the Month award tells you just how impressive the Gunners have been over March.

In their four games last month, Arsenal won three of them, only failing to pick up maximum points in a 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

That loss ended Arsenal's six-game unbeaten streak, which saw them pick up wins against Brentford, Watford, Leicester and Wolves twice.

Even in their loss, Arsenal put on an impressive display, showing just how far they've progressed under Arteta who has his side playing expansive and free-flowing football.

As for Palace, just two wins in their last five league fixtures is not a fair representation of their form.

They've lost just once in their last 10 matches across all competitions, and that came against Chelsea back in February, when the Blues stole the points with an 89th minute goal.

Other than that, the Eagles have picked up some impressive results, including a goalless stalemate against league leaders Manchester City.

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

On top of that, they find themselves in the FA Cup semi-finals after thumping Everton 4-0 in their last match.

They'll head into Monday night's clash full of confidence, and will give Arsenal a tougher game than most think.

Crystal Palace and Arsenal players in form

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham.

With four goals in his last six appearances, Arsenal will be wary of Wilfried Zaha's threat on Monday evening.

The 29-year-old is hitting form at just the right time, and despite only scoring nine in all competitions this season, he's still Palace's talisman up front.

Marc Guehi will also be reeling from his England debut, and be full of confidence for Monday's clash.

He's formed a formidable partnership with Joachim Andersen in defence, and the duo have been responsible for an impressive backline that has only conceded 38 goals this season.

Arsenal will be looking to find Bukayo Saka in space, after the 20-year-old scored three in his last seven appearances.

Despite being one of the side's younger talents, Saka has nailed down his spot in the side and has become a focal point going forward.

Nine goals and five assists in the Premier League this season shows the improvement to his end product, and after scoring vs Aston Villa in the last league fixture, he can add to that tally on Monday.

Past meetings

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have not won any of their last five meetings against Arsenal, but have also only lost one.

Draws have littered this fixture over the last few seasons, including a 2-2 stalemate in the reverse fixture this campaign.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring early on, before Palace took a lead in the second half via Christian Benteke and Edouard. However, a last-gasp equaliser from Alexandre Lacazette ensured the points were shared.

Managers' thoughts

Patrick Vieira on the sidelines for Crystal Palace, Dec2021

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke highly of Monday's opposition in his pre-match press conference:

"The team [Palace], especially at home, is doing really well and the coaching staff are doing a great job and we know how it is to play in their stadium."

The Spaniard also wanted to make sure his side refocused on securing top four after their international break.

"I will have them all today, just try to refocus them, obviously, when they're on international duty all the time they're being asked to do different things, different roles, different kind of pressures. For some of them, it was their first international, so emotionally for them as well it's very draining. And make sure that everyone is fine and look forward to the challenge that we have ahead."

Palace manager Patrick Vieira said: "I believe they have a good squad and good manager. Now they have a really clear understanding about how they want to play, are playing better football and have confidence. It's going to be challenging for us but we're in a really good period as well."

Predicted teams

Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal Mar22

Despite picking up an injury while away on international duty with Ivory Coast, Vieira spoke positively about Wilfried Zaha's chances of featuring on Monday.

"We have until Monday so he can have a couple of days of training with the team. We have to wait and see what will happen over the next couple of days." said Vieira.

Palace's Michael Olise is also facing a race to get fit for the clash. He too picked up an injury while away with the France Under-21s, but he should recover to at least feature on the bench.

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka pulled out of international duty with England after testing positive for Covid-19, but he's back training with Arsenal now and Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he's feeling better.

"Bukayo is feeling good, he's training today hopefully, if he is still feeling as he was yesterday."

Aaron Ramsdale could miss out, though, after suffering a muscular injury against Liverpool in March.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Schlupp, Kouyate, Gallagher, Zaha, Benteke, Edouard

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal prediction

With four draws in their last five meetings, it'd be illogical to go against the trend for Monday's clash.

Especially with both teams in great form. Expect another stalemate at Selhurst Park, with a 1-1 scoreline likely.

READ MORE: Real Madrid, Newcastle, Liverpool and three other clubs who choked in title races

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