Arsenal will host Crystal Palace to close out the Premier League Matchday 8 slate and it’s a compelling matchup that will pit Palace first-year manager Patrick Vieira against his former team where he’s considered a legend.
Vieira played nine seasons at Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies and racking up the sixth most Premier League appearances in Gunners history. According to the BBC, this will only be the fourth time in history that a former Arsenal player coaches against the team.
But his counterpart at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, will be more concerned about Crystal Palace’s team than about Vieira. While Arsenal has improved of late under Mikel Arteta (3-0-1 in their last four league matches), Palace is on a strong run of their own (one loss in their last six) and logging better performances from week to week.
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In the seven matches played thus far, Crystal Palace’s only two losses came against first-place Chelsea and second-place Liverpool, which Vieira can live with. But the positive results have been impressive based on how the EPL season has unfolded thus far: In addition to beating Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace (14th, 7 points) has four draws against teams that are in the top 11 places in the standings. It can catch Arsenal in the standings with a win.
Arsenal (13th, 10 points) have similarly found an identity with several new players now fully integrated into the starting lineup and making a difference. The Gunners’ newfound defensive solidity — one goal conceded in the last four matches — has provided the stability for their attackers to express themselves with Emile Smith Rowe taking on an increasingly important role on the team.
How to watch Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
- Date: Monday, Oct. 18
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- TV Channels: N/A
- Streaming: Peacock
The Matchday 8 finale in the English Premier League is only available via NBC’s streaming service Peacock Premium, which is available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
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Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: Starting lineups
Manager Mikel Arteta is rolling out his regular XI for this match minus Granit Xhaka, who is still in his first month of a three-month layoff due to the knee injury picked up against Tottenham. Forward Gabriel Martinelli was the only other injury concern, but he’s fit enough to be on the bench.
Arsenal starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): 32-Aaron Ramsdale-GK — 3-Kieran Tierney, 6-Gabriel, 4-Ben White, 18-Takehiro Tomiyasu — 10-Emile Smith Rowe, 5-Thomas Partey, 8-Martin Odegaard — 19-Nicolas Pepe, 14-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7-Bukayo Saka
Arsenal subs (9): 1-Bernd Leno-GK, 20-Nuno Tavares, 17-Cedric, 16-Rob Holding, 15-Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 25-Mohamed Elneny, 23-Albert Sambi Lokonga, 9-Alexandre Lacazette, 35-Gabriel Martinelli
(Not in squad: 22-Pablo Mari, 21-Calum Chambers, 31-Sead Kolasinac, 26-Folarin Balogun )
Based on reports, Vieira seemed to have a healthy Crystal Palace squad available for selection but Wilfried Zaha was nowhere on the team sheet. Christian Benteke takes his place in the lineup. The only long-term absences are midfielder Eberechi Eze and center back Nathan Ferguson, who are both on the mend.
Crystal Palace starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): 13-Vicente Guaita-GK — 3-Tyrick Mitchell, 6-Marc Guehi, 16-Joachim Andersen, 2-Joel Ward — 18-James McArthur, 4-Luka Milivojevic, 23-Conor Gallagher — 20-Christian Benteke, 22-Odsonne Edouard, 9-Jordan Ayew
Crystal Palace subs (8): 1-Jack Butland-GK, 5-James Tomkins, 17-Nathaniel Clyne, 8-Cheikhou Kouyate, 15-Jeffrey Schlupp, 7-Michael Olise, 12-Will Hughes, 14-Jean-Philippe Mateta
(Not in squad: 11-Wilfried Zaha, 44-Jairo Riedewald, 34-Martin Kelly)
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: Betting odds & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Pick: Crystal Palace +0.75 Asian Handicap (-105)
The only times that Crystal Palace has been played off the park has been against the very elite teams. Their two lowest possession percentages came against Chelsea (38 percent) and Liverpool (41 percent). When it faces teams of a similar ilk, those matches have been fairly even, including in the expected goals department.
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This is a home match that Arsenal will be expected to win given the names on the team sheet. But Crystal Palace is a confident side under Patrick Vieira and won’t back down from the occasion. The visitors will find a way to keep it close. The +0.75 Asian Handicap is a winner in case of a draw or Palace win. But it returns half the bet if Crystal Palace loses by a goal.
Prediction: Arsenal 1, Crystal Palace 1
- Moneyline: Arsenal -140 / Draw +280 / Crystal Palace +425
- Spread (Asian Handicap): Arsenal -0.5 (-140) / Crystal Palace +0.5 (+125)
- O/U 2.5 total goals (Asian totals): Over -110 / Under -110
- Both Teams To Score: Yes -115 / No -110