How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Arsenal 1/4, Draw 17/4, Crystal Palace 15/2 - Sky Bet
- First Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez 3/1, Olivier Giroud 7/2, Theo Walcott 7/2 - Paddy Power
- Both Teams To Score: Yes 4/5, No 1 - BetVictor
- Arsenal returned to winning ways on Boxing Day as a late goal from Olivier Giroud sealed a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Arsene Wenger’s side had lost both of their previous matches 2-1 - against Everton and Manchester City - to slide to fourth in the table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea.
- Crystal Palace’s first game under new manager Sam Allardyce ended in a 1-1 draw at Watford, as their winless run extended to four matches. Palace are currently just two points above the bottom three, and only two teams in the division have conceded more goals.
- Palace have not beaten Arsenal since 1994 and have lost five of the last six matches between the sides, although they did claim a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium in April.
Sam Allardyce is expected to make Palace a much more difficult side to break down, and there were early signs of added resilience in the 1-1 draw with Watford. They will always carry a goal threat, with the powerful Christian Benteke up front and Wilfried Zaha available to face Arsenal before jetting off to the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Allardyce may not have had enough time to work with his squad to make too much of a difference ahead of the trip across London. While Arsenal have not been at their scintillating best in the last few weeks, the win over West Brom was crucial to keep them in title contention and they have an excellent record against Palace. Olivier Giroud grabbed the winning goal in the last match and has the aerial ability to exploit Palace’s vulnerability from set-pieces, making it a tempting option to back the Frenchman in the score/win double market at odds of 21/20.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Olivier Giroud to score and Arsenal to win - 21/20 at Ladbrokes
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.