Premier League 2018/19: Can Crystal Palace end their goalless run at home against Arsenal?
It is really unusual to see a high ranked club in modern football without a single goal scored in the first four matches at home. It is even stranger that this has happened in the Premier League and the victim is Crystal Palace for the first time in this club’s history.
What’s even worse, they won only one point in those four games at their Selhurst Park. You guessed it, it was in a goalless draw. Their opponents were teams with firm defences in away matches, but it is still hard to understand taking into consideration Crystal Palace’s performance in five visits. They scored five goals in four away matches, achieving two victories on that occasion.
It is clear that one cannot speak of some kind of a psychological barrier. The only realistic conclusion we can come to is that they just did not have luck at home. They had a subdued role only in the first game when they lost 0-2 against Liverpool. Even then, they had 8 goal attempts, but only two of them were shots on goal.
In each of the other three games, they had more ball possession, and more goal attempts as well. They had 47 shots at home since playing Liverpool, 14 of which were shots on goal, but none of them found their way inside the net.
Arsenal is their next opponent at the Selhurst Park. The question is whether the Gunners, who have 14 points more than the hosts, can be a chance for breaking their goalless run. The answer might be - why not.
The Gunners’ defence has not been up to the task in the previous four games away. They received 7 goals, 4 of which were from only 9 shots on goal. Other 3 goals they conceded at Chelsea, who had 11 shots on goal. These are not praiseworthy data for Arsenal.
Let's see how things stand when their mutual matches are in question. They played 12 times against each other in the previous 14 years. Crystal Palace won only once, 3-0 in April of the previous year.
Their first encounter in this period ended in a tie, and Arsenal won the other 10 duels. As for goals, Crystal Palace missed to score three times, and only one of them was at the Selhurst Park. In six games at home, Crystal Palace scored 8 goals against Arsenal, and 5 of them came in the two games last season.
Forward, Christian Benteke is out due to an injury. Anyway, he did not score a single goal in four games that he played in the Premier League this season. Besides, he played both last year’s games against Arsenal and did not score any of the 5 goals his team scored.
Midfielder Andros Townsend scored two of them, and he has also been efficient this season. Next to him, forward Wilfried Zaha is capable of scoring. Even, defender Patrick van Aanholt was a goal-scorer in the previous two matches of Crystal Palace.
If you ask whether Crystal Palace are ready for the first home win? Probably not. I would not put even a penny on it. But I would dare bet that Crystal Palace will score at least one goal this time.