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Arsenal have only won once against Palace in the last seven. But…

By Bulldog Drummond

Perhaps the biggest worry over this match for Arsenal is the pattern of recent results between the two clubs.

Overall of course Arsenal are in front, winning 29 games against Palace, and losing just five.  However, in the last seven games between the two clubs, Arsenal have won just once.  Five of the games have been drawn, and equal with Arsenal, just one game has been won by Palace.   Here’s the chart…  (All games are in the Premier League).

Date Game Res Score
28 Oct 2018 Crystal Palace v Arsenal D 2-2
21 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Crystal Palace L 2-3
27 Oct 2019 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 2-2
11 Jan 2020 Crystal Palace v Arsenal D 1-1
14 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 0-0
19 May 2021 Crystal Palace v Arsenal W 1-3
18 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 2-2

This in fact does tell us a lot about Crystal Palace’s performances this season.  They are, as we have already noticed, the almighty draw specialists.

Here is the Premier League table in order of games drawn this season…

Lge Team P W D L F A GD Pts
12 Crystal Palace 29 7 13 9 39 38 1 34
13 Brighton and Hove Albion 30 7 13 10 26 36 -10 34
11 Southampton 30 8 12 10 37 46 -9 36
19 Burnley 28 3 12 13 22 40 -18 21
15 Newcastle United 30 7 10 13 33 54 -21 31
7 Manchester United 30 14 9 7 49 41 8 51

In fact almost half of Crystal Palace’s league games this season have been drawn (43%) – the highest percentage in the league.  Arsenal on the other hand are bottom of the drawing table with three draws (11%).  So something has to give.  Arsenal, incidentally, have won 17 games to Palace’s seven.

Not surprisingly given how much Palace love to play for draws, is the fact that they have lost exactly the same number of games as Tottenham Hots: 10.  Maybe instead of drooling over the Totts great achievement that fact might be noted by the media … but no I don’t think so.

So there can be no doubt as to how the game is going to pan out: Crystal Palace will be playing for a draw.  However mitigating against this, Arsenal have only drawn one match away from home this season, so even if they didn’t have Champions League football in mind Arsenal would still be going for the win, as is their natural style.

But to be fair to Palace this is their normal positioning.

Season P W D L F A Pts Pos
2016–17 38 12 5 21 50 63 41 14th
2017–18 38 11 11 16 45 55 44 11th
2018–19 38 14 7 17 51 53 49 12th
2019–20 38 11 10 17 31 50 43 14th
2020–21 38 12 8 18 41 66 44 14th
2021/22 29 7 13 9 39 38 34 12th
2021/22 est* 38 9 17 11 51 49 44

*The final row (“2021/22 est”) shows how many points Palace will end up with if they continue playing as they have done all season.  And quite interestingly that means that they will end up with 44 points.  Which would mean that in the last six seasons, three times they will have ended up with 44 points.  It is getting to be a habit.  They have also come 14th three times in the last six seasons.

But, I hear you cry, where will Arsenal finish up?  Here’s the answer

Pos Arsenal situation… P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Now 28 17 3 8 44 31 13 54
3/4 End of this season predicted 38 23 4 11 60 42 18 73
8 End of last season 38 18 7 13 55 39 16 61

Yes we are predicting that Arsenal will be 12 points better off than last season and will finish third or fourth.   That positional finish is difficult because it does depend to a degree on the level of the collapse of Chelsea, so it is outside our control.

Pos Palace situation P W D L F A GD Pts
12 Now 29 7 13 9 39 38 1 34
14 End of this season predicted 38 9 17 11 51 49 2 44
14 End of last season 38 12 8 18 41 66 -25 44

The BBC is predicting a 1-1 draw for this match, noting that Palace “will cause the Gunners lots of problems but Mikel Arteta’s side are dangerous too. This should be a really good game and a very close one as well.”

What I think they are forgetting however is that after that dreadful away defeat to Everton after which the pundits said that Arsenal’s bubble had burst and there was no chance of a top four, we have won every single away game in the league scoring 14 and conceding three.

Date Game Res Score
18 Dec 2021 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4
26 Dec 2021 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-5
10 Feb 2022 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal W 0-1
06 Mar 2022 Watford v Arsenal W 2-3
19 Mar 2022 Aston Villa v Arsenal W 0-1

The average from that is around Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 3.

Next up: the team.

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