Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
English Premier League
Saturday, February 21, 2015
7AM PT/10 AM ET/3 PM BT
Selhurst Park, London
Recent League Form: ARS LWWWLW | CRY DWWLWD
US TV: PL Extra Time, NBC Live Extra | Worldwide TV info livesoccer.tv
What's at stake today: Arsenal could grab sole possession of fourth or even third in the standings at the end of this weekend, depending on the results of today's concurrent United trip to Wales and tomorrow's late match, in which Southampton hosts Liverpool. Crystal Palace, who have recently come under the tutelage of Alan Pardew (who Arsene Wenger has a spirited history with), sits in 13th, and will undoubtedly remain mid-table regardless of what happens this week, or to be quite honest, the remainder of the season.
Possible storylines for this week: The return of Jack Wilshere (for whom we had a spirited debate this past week on TSF), the absence from the XI and the XVIII of former Arsenal striker and current mask-wearer Marouane Chamakh (click here for a picture of a mask-wearing Chamakh vs. a ginger), the ongoing Ospina vs. Szczesny goalie debate, and ongoing questions about whether Alexis is merely mortal and may suffer injury as result of the coaching staff's aim to play him every minute of every match.
Lawro's prediction: We had a big chuckle over the BBC preview, which included a feature called "Lawro's Prediction," which boldly stated:
Crystal Palace have had some good results since Alan Pardew took over at the start of the year but their recent home form under him is not great. The Eagles have not won any of their last three matches at Selhurst Park, including their defeat by Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend.
That is not actually a prediction. When pressed, the article went on to say, "We've got all the ingredients here for a classic London derby," which is also not a real prediction.
If this match was my 12-year-old son playing FIFA15 last night: Arsenal 10, Palace 1. Apparently, he's unlocked the secret of FIFA15, which involves letting one of your fullbacks run unmolested toward goal while your striker looks on admiringly. (Which, today, would be Chambers and Monreal.)
An actual prediction: Let's go with Arsenal 2, Palace 0.