ENGLAND: Premier League
Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 20:00 CET
Venue: Selhurst Park (London)
Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Aston Villa means Crystal Palace can still hit 50 points for the first time ever in the Premier League (PL). They twice came from behind against Villa, and in three of their last five matches, the side scoring first failed to win. A staple of their recent PL matches has been early goals, with an average of 1.17 being scored before the 20th minute across their last six.
However, they’ve not scored before the 30th minute in any of their last eight home league fixtures (W3, D2, L3), whilst their weekend win saw them net 3+ goals here for the first time since November 7. Furthermore, their latest three home victories came via a one-goal margin, highlighting the tight up and down nature of the ‘Eagles’ home form this term (W6, D5, L7).
That might encourage Arsenal, who must extend a three-match winning run in the league if they’re to qualify for Europe. Those victories all came after they led 1-0 at the 30-minute mark but a repeat is anything but guaranteed as they haven’t won in five competitive H2Hs (D4, L1), the last three were all draws in which they failed to score any goal after HT.
That point could prove academic if the ‘Gunners’ can remain defensively solid, as they’ve averaged 2.17 goals per game across an unbeaten run stretching six league away games (W4, D2), and have impressively won three consecutive league trips ‘to nil’ for the first time since May 2013.
Players to watch: With 11 PL goals this term, this has been Wilfried Zaha’s most prolific top-flight campaign for Palace – he’s netted the opener in three of his last four goalscoring outings. Similarly, Emile Smith Rowe scored first inside 30 minutes in each of Arsenal’s last two PL fixtures.
Crystal Palace’s form in last 5 matches: WLWLL.
Arsenal’s form in last 5 matches: WWDWL.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Under 4.5