Arsenal host Crystal Palace in the league on New Year's Day, as the Gunners look to close the gap on Chelsea to nine points following the Blues' 4-2 win over Stoke City.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 4pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.


Arsenal will be without Theo Walcott for the second consecutive fixture after the forward failed to recover from a minor groin problem while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a doubt for the fixture. Shkodran Mustafi has recovered from a hamstring problem and is in the squad to face Palace, with the Gunners having lost two fixtures in his absence.

Danny Welbeck is back in training but will need a few more days on the sidelines before he can be considered for first team action. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud is set to make his second start in consecutive games after scoring the winner against West Bromwich Albion last time around.

Palace will be without defender Damien Delaney who is serving a one-match suspension. However, new manager Sam Allardyce is hopeful that the trio of James McArthur, Joe Ledley and James Tomkins will be fit for the game after missing the last few matches in the league.

Crystal Palace have won just one of their last 12 league games and the board will be banking on Allardyce to do his magic after he saved Sunderland from relegation last season. However, they haven't kept a clean sheet away from home in the league since last December. They went 1-0 up against Watford in their last game but failed to hold on as Troy Deeney scored from the spot to equalise.

Olivier Giroud
Tony Pulis believes Arsenal are better prepared to win title. Getty

What Managers Say

Arsene Wenger: "At the start of the season you have the six or seven teams that will fight at the top and the other teams say: 'Let's make sure we are not in the seven that will fight not to go down and get 40 points as quickly as possible.' The problem today is that for these teams to play in the Premier League, they need to pay the wages of the Premier League. And if you go down with the wages of the Premier League, it is a massive problem," he told the Guardian.

Sam Allardyce: "They're in that period now when in the past they have tended to falter, whether it's through injuries or fatigue, the amount of physical and emotional effort they have to put in to stay at the top of the league," he said. "If we could achieve a result at The Emirates it would be huge. We will have so much less of the ball than Arsenal so it's what we do with it when we have it that matters," he told the Express.

Betting Odds (betfair)

  • Arsenal win: 3/10
  • Draw: 5
  • Crystal Palace win: 11

Team News


Possible XI: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud

Crystal Palace

Possible XI: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Kelly, Fryers, Cabaye, McArthur, Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha, Benteke