After a terrible week for Arsenal which saw a disappointing draw with Southampton compounded by an injury to their only signing Kim Kallstrom, nothing but a win will suffice for Arsenal today.
In Crystal Palace they find a team in good form. They have won the last two matches and have slowly climbed out the relegation zone. Their defence has been the main reason for their ascension and against Arsenal, without a shadow of a doubt, Palace will defend in a backs against the wall style.
This will suit Arsenal considering they have no defensive midfielder. Consequentially, Arsenal will pack the midfield with attacking midfielders and this should see them score a few goals at home.
Palace might be good at the back, but they are average going forward. If Arsenal are able to score more than one goal, it is very likely Palace will not have enough going forward to grab anything from the game. It is worth remembering that Arsenal have a good defence and an already mediocre Palace attack will find it difficult against Arsenal.
I suspect this will be a match where Podolski shines in. In a team full of fleet-footed, one-touch passers; Podolski has the raw pace to get in behind and also has a powerful shot that can blast its way through the biggest of opponents.
A breakthrough in the match may take a while. As Arsenal have found, most teams at the Emirates tend to have all 11 men behind the ball before springing a counter attack. However, Arsenal simply have to win today and eventually that desperation will come through.
Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace