View From the Enemy – Why Palace are feeling confident ahead of Arsenal clash

This week’s View From The Enemy comes direct from the official Palace website, and they reckon that a trip to Arsenal holds no fears for them as they have an amazing record when playing in London, and it makes for very interesting reading….

Palace Preview: London becoming a fortress for Eagles

Crystal Palace have performed impressively in the English capital this season, and are preparing for their seventh and final consecutive game in London today against Arsenal.

This season, Roy Hodgson’s men haven’t played outside of the capital since defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford over two months ago. Their record in London will inspire confidence for the weekend’s challenge, too, with the Eagles notching three wins and two draws from seven clashes within the M25.

In total this season, Palace have taken 11 out of a potential 21 points whilst playing in London and have faced Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in that time.

Be it at Selhurst Park or on the local road, Palace have turned the capital into something of a fortress.

But, north of the river, Arsenal pose a threat and the Eagles will have to draw on their impressive triumph in N7 last April when facing Unai Emery’s fifth-placed Gunners.

Remarkably – nine games in – this fixture is a battle between two clubs separated by just one league position and one league point. Indeed, Palace are currently the only team splitting white from red in north London, with Spurs pushing up below them and the Gunners sitting just above.

The Eagles’ recent record against Arsenal will inspire confidence, too, having drawn and won against Emery’s men last season.

Turning attention to the Gunners themselves, recent form will do little to deter Hodgson’s south Londoners from having faith this afternoon. With one win, one draw and one loss from their last three league games, Arsenal have faltered over recent weeks and, on Monday night, fell 1-0 to Sheffield United as Palace did in August.

A narrow 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth and a scrappy 1-1 draw with Manchester United preceded the loss against the Blades.

Did you know?

Starting from and including their 3-2 victory away to Manchester City in December 2018, Palace have won nine away games in the league. Heading into this matchday, only City (13) and Liverpool (also nine) can match that tally.

Tactical overview

Arsenal have been criticised for their willingness to play the ball backwards – seen as either safe or negative – since Emery’s appointment. It has not been uncommon for this to cause them concerns. So if Palace can press the Gunners’ backline, they may have some luck in capitalising on a misplaced pass under pressure.

Sheffield United exhibited this well, pressing Arsenal with discipline and left the north Londoners’ frontline begging for more of the ball.

Team news

Crystal Palace were without goalkeeper Vicente Guaita against City last Saturday, with Wayne Hennessey coming in to replace the Spanish shot stopper.

Roy Hodgson was also without long-term absentees Connor Wickham and Mamadou Sakho against the Citizens.

In his pre-match press conference, Hodgson said that Guaita is fit again and Martin Kelly is fit to play barring a ‘reaction’ before the game.

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette had been suffering from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season and played his first competitive minutes since September 1st against the Blades on Monday.

Youngster Reiss Nelson is an absentee with a knee injury but Arsenal have a fully fit squad otherwise.

So, that is one of the more in-depth previews in our View From The Enemy series and made for some interesting reading I thought. Should we be even more worried than we were to start with? Or will Arsenal simply have too much firepower for them?

Darren N


  1. Today will be a defining moment in our club both players and fans reaction in the stadium will tell all there needs to be known about where everyone’s head space is. Emery will be judged today with regards to player treatment. Let’s all watch and see the effort of the likes of Aubameyang,lacazette and company. If we score a goal the celebration can also be telling. Remember it takes a happy squad to win trophies.

  2. I would be less worried were our manager – who until recently I backed, given the pedigree he had when he first arrived – not been found wanting in so many areas of his time here. On paper our squad and even our team of lesser players than the ones he leaves out, is far better than Palace squad . But Palace have a manager who gets the best from his limited resources, who picks his best team, who instills fight throughout his team and who plays to his team’s strengths. Ours seems to do the exact opposite. Almost the entire Gooner and pundits world realise we are playing well below the sum of our parts; the idiotic and dangerous insistence on playing out from the back, AKA “deliberately putting ourselves in danger”, being just one silly judgement from his many judgements that are obviously wrong. I NOW want this ” foreign” manager to leave asap. By “foreign” I do NOT refer to where he comes from BUT rather his inability to be understood by any of his players, tactically speaking. He is “foreign” to the style and attacking football that even under Wengers last poor few seasons were still our trademark. Yes, his awful English does not help but if he had football sense we could all overlook his poor spoken English. But he has no football sense, at least none that is evident or which is working. Constantly preferring his second rate defenders in favour of better ones now fit is beyond stupidity and begins to look , frankly, as if he is deliberately harming us. I do not say he intends to harm us, of course I am not. But that is what it LOOKS like. You know I am just telling it as it is. No one is more disappointed than me who until very recently has been perhaps his staunchest supporter on here. And no one has been more WRONG than me on this. But I am also a realist and do not believe in making a clear wrong decision even more harmful by prolonging it for the sake of false pride. I made a huge mistake on Emery and freely and with a wrenched gut admit it.

    As for today’s game, had both managers been of equal quality then our clearly better squad would certainly provide us with a win today. But Hodgson will pick his best eleven; we know our man will not. I am worried therefore, I am also more worried how long the regime above him will take to find out the truth and, rightly, then sack him.

  3. Their confidence calls for caution.
    Away from home, look how confident they sound, pointing out our poor strategies and constant error. Not just away from home, away from home against Arsenal. Bloooooody Arsenal for fcuk sake!!
    Emery needs to go

    1. Under normal circumstances I’d have said they are underestimating us but after the Vitoria game I think they are justified in thinking they can do the double over us. 😥

  4. The way Arsenal play is like a reincarnation of Wenger. Full of passing and pressing and very liable to the sucker punch.
    If Emery can’t beat CP, he could be under greater pressure. The attack must be faster and shooting from long range would help.
    I fear the defence could drag down the gunners. If not, Arsenal shd win by a 2 goal margin.

  5. I share your concerns JF and if Emery selects a back four which includes,Socratis, Luis and Kolasinac I am confident Palace will score at least once.They are a well drilled side, unlike Arsenal ,who are all aware of their defensive responsibilities and it will be very difficult to break them down. Zaha will be out to make a big impression today.

    1. I hate people who are quite negative. Arsenal have the fire- power to win the game. I see a very tactical and free-flowing game. If Arsenal score first, they are likely to get the points but the opposite is true. They beat us last time hence there is no margin for error.

      1. Have you not being watching our games. Where do you want him to find the positive after our performance against Lady Vitoria after Emery came out with all finding the balance and give a good performance after Sheffield debacle.

    2. Okiror, what a defeatist; I’m glad I never played in a team with you
      The problem with Arsenal over the last 4 seasons at least, is that we do not know what Arsenal will turn up. As has been raised by many pundits, Arsenal plays poorly without the ball. In the EPL any team which does not turn up committed, willing to work hard and graft and compete for every first and second ball will not be successful. Games are won on the field, not on the team sheet before the match.

      1. Regarding what Jon said above about Emery, it surprises me you have not ask him your usual question of who is suitable enough to replace Emery with. If Jon can change his stance on Emery I’m hopeful you and Innit will do before end of the season😉😉. This man is just a misfit

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors