Thursday, January 19, 2017

Can Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce end the Eagles’ 22-year winless run against Arsenal this weekend?

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 31 Dec 2016

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New Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has a difficult first game in charge.

New Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has a difficult first game in charge.

Crystal Palace travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with new manager Sam Allardyce taking charge of his first game since replacing the sacked Alan Pardew.

However, the Eagles haven’t fared too well against the Gunners, having gone 22 years without beating them in the Premier League, but can they end the long wait for a win over Arsenal?

Contrasting symmetry between the two clubs

Arsenal are fourth from top in the Premier League this season while Crystal Palace are fourth from bottom ahead of Sunday’s meeting. The Gunners are one of five sides to have won games in the double figures, while the Eagles are one of five to have lost in the double figures. Arsene Wenger’s men have won three of their last five home games in the league, while Sam Allardyce’s side have lost three of their previous five.

Arsenal have picked up more points at home while Palace have picked up more on the road, and their head-to-head record is rather one-sided. Arsenal have won six and drawn one of their last seven Premier League meetings with the Eagles, suffering their only defeat all the way back in 1994. Prior to that, it was 1979 in the First Division that Palace last won against Arsenal, and they may be kept waiting given recent form.

Arsenal dominant against the bottom-half while Palace have struggled against the top-half

Arsenal have made light work of opposing teams in the bottom-half of the Premier League table this season, boasting seven wins and two draws from nine games against the underdogs. The Gunners have beaten Hull City, Burnley, Swansea, Sunderland, Bournemouth, West Ham United and Stoke City, drawing to Leicester City and Middlesbrough. Their opponents can’t buy a win against the top-10 this season and it may result in them coming unstuck at the Emirates Stadium.

Crystal Palace have picked up just five points in nine games against top-half entities, beating Southampton but losing to West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, while drawing with Everton and Watford. With Arsenal so consistent to underdog sides, while Palace can’t beat games where they’re not the favourites, it’s hard to see an upset at the Emirates Stadium this weekend. A win could see Arsenal go third in the table, while the Eagles at best can only end the weekend 15th. Arsenal are 1/3 to win against Crystal Palace. Will there be an upset?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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