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Hodgson on Arsenal's threats, form and Eberechi Eze

13 January 2021

Roy Hodgson covered a range of topics in his pre-Arsenal press conference, speaking to the media at length about his side's upcoming games.

He discussed Arsenal's strengths in detail, explaining why he thinks they've regained their form and what main threats they pose to Palace.

Training

Crystal Palace in training before Arsenal clash

13 January 2021

'They’re playing very well with a lot of players who are very dangerous in the attacking stage of play and defending as well," he said.

"We’re meeting them with [them having] very high confidence levels. We can take some heart and solace from the last games not having gone badly but for me they are still one of the top teams in the country. I expect a lot from them.

"At the moment they’re doing everything well - defending well, not letting lots of goals in, but most of all look at the quality of attacking players they have. You’re talking about people at the highest European level.

"You can be sure that if they’ve had a barren period, they’re going to come back strongly and that barren period won’t last. They use their playing material well, they’re organised and play to the strengths of their team.

"As an opponent, you analyse that and try to prepare your team as best you can to try to make certain you don’t get caught out."

Earlier this season, however, Arsenal's form read differently to their current four wins from four.

Match Previews

Match Preview: Arsenal v Crystal Palace

13 January 2021

Asked what he'd put their newfound success down to, Hodgson said it would be wrong to pinpoint one strength, but that Arsenal as a club were always going to bounce back:

"I never really expected them to do anything but recover from the unfortunate start they had. Looking at the squad, the way Mikel Arteta works with them, the way they play, their principles, the quality of the club and staff, I never expected anything other than them coming back to the Arsenal we know and expect them to be.

"It’s not surprising and doesn’t need to be put down to anything other than working hard, not allowing confidence to be dented by a bad run and always believing a good spell would come. For us, it’s unfortunate we meet them in the middle of it."

Finally, the manager also commented on Eberechi Eze attending a recent Queens Park Rangers match:

"It was very disappointing of course. I think it’s a lot of naivety on his part to think it was okay to do those things – it obviously isn’t. We’re very upset about it and a bit disappointed too that he wasn’t actually stopped from going.

"I know QPR have done well in that respect and taken some responsibility because of course had we known, we would have stopped it happening. He's apologised, of course, and he’s certainly learned a harsh lesson from it. We’ll certainly act internally to take measures to make certain it’s a lesson he’s well and truly learned."

READ NEXT: Behind the scenes of Palace's preparation before Arsenal

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