Palace get their home league campaign underway against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon aiming to enjoy more success at Selhurst Park than they achieved last season, having only picked up six wins on their own turf last campaign.
They got the season off the perfect start after beating Norwich City last weekend, unlike their opponents who suffered the shock of the opening day when they fell to defeat at home to West Ham United.
Arsene Wenger has dipped into the transfer market to bring Chelsea legend Petr Cech to the club but he didn't enjoy a debut to remember as he gifted the Hammers their two goals in the 2-0 win.
Palace though haven't tasted success against Arsenal since October 1994 when John Salako struck twice to clinch a 2-1 win at Highbury, and haven't beaten them at Selhurst since 1979 when Dave Swindlehurst grabbed the only goal of the game.
Arsene Wenger: “It will certainly be a tighter and tougher league because the quality of teams in the lower half of the table has improved.
“I believe in every game… what gives you a good indication is if you look at the bench of the team you play against, and when you look at the teams in the second part of the table and you look at their benches, it indicates that you will have tough games.
“I never had many easy matches in my life but it is always getting more difficult, that’s true.”
Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni remains out after damaging a ligament in his finger during the club's trip to South Africa last month, and could miss a few more weeks.
Former Gunner Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell both have injured hamstrings and remain out, but the Moroccan striker could step up his recovery for the development side next week.
Arsenal: Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is approaching full fitness after missing the Community Shield win against Chelsea and starting on the bench against West Ham having played his part in helping Chile win the Copa America over the summer.
Right-back Hector Bellerin is also available again and could dislodge Mathieu Debuchy, but Jack Wilshere will be out for a further two weeks. Meanwhile Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky have been ruled out.
Palace have been beaten in each of their last five Premier League encounters with the Gunners but despite tasting defeat against the north Londoners last season, Alan Pardew has won 11 out of 19 Premier League matches in charge of Palace – no Eagles' manager has won more in a single spell at the club in this division.
Having struggled at home to West Ham last weekend, Arsenal might be pleased to have an away London derby having earned 16 out of a possible 18 points in their last six league away games, and won 20 points from 10 Premier League London derbies last season. Palace meanwhile got 11 points from their capital clashes.
In last weekend's success at Carrow Road, Wilfried Zaha embarked on more dribbles (10) than any other player on matchday one in the Premier League.
This game will see Lee Mason take charge of the sides, returning to Selhurst Park for the first time since Palace's 3-1 win against Queen Park Rangers last March. Last season he officiated three Eagles game, leading to wins against Leicester City and the Hoops as well as a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Referee: L Mason
Assistants: S Ledger and E Smart
Fourth Official: R Madley
|Palace wins||Draws||Arsenal wins|
LAST MEETING AT SELHURST PARK
21st February 2015
Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal survived a late scare as they held on to beat Crystal Palace and take third spot in the Premier League.
Santi Cazorla put the Gunners ahead when he converted a penalty after Pape Souare brought down Danny Welbeck.
The England striker was involved in his side's second goal as his low effort was parried by Julian Speroni before Olivier Giroud netted the rebound.
Palace's Glenn Murray scored in injury time after a goalmouth scramble and then hit the post as Arsenal held on.
The Gunners had to battle hard for the three points and got lucky in the 95th minute when Murray connected with Yannick Bolasie's cross but was denied by the woodwork.
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