Fourth-placed Arsenal will take on Crystal Palace in a crucial English Premier League (EPL) encounter at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Arsenal could be 16 points behind league leaders Leicester City even before they take the field against The Eagles, as Claudio Ranieri's men will play against West Ham United at their den.
Arsenal technically will need a miracle from here to win the league. They can only hope the top three teams â€” Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City â€” lose all their remaining games, which is almost next to impossible, considering the way the top two teams have played in this season especially.
So at this moment, Arsene Wenger will only hope that Arsenal will secure at least a place in the top four. That way, they can make it to the Champions League as well. But they cannot afford to drop points against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Manchester City have gone ahead of them after their 3-0 victory over Chelsea and Manchester United are inching closer to that place in the top four.
Arsenal drew against West Ham United in their last Premier League fixture and that made things even more difficult for Wenger and his men. In a season, when the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are struggling for form, Arsenal could have gone on to lift that Premier League title again but it is Leicester City who are marching towards their first ever Premier League title.
Arsenal had started the season beautifully but they lost their way in the middle and thereby letting go of another chance to win the EPL title. It is clear that Arsenal have not been at their best in this season and the coach agreed with the fact ahead of their all-important clash against reeling Crystal Palace.
"We had a big differential this season between the number of chances we created at home and the number of goals we scored, which was not the case last year," Wenger was quoted as saying by the official website of the club.
"We are an attacking side. I don't think you can pretend to be a big club and say you only want to defend."
"We have that responsibility and we have to stand up for that and continue to develop the quality of our game. It doesn't mean that we have to change our style, it means we have to be better with the style we play."
Palace, on the other hand, have had a woeful season. They are reeling at the 16th position in the EPL points table. However, Alan Pardew's men have managed to remain unbeaten in their last three matches.
Pardew is expecting a tough gama against Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates. But the Eagles' manager is hopeful that they will put up a good show at the home ground of Arsenal, where they have lost just thrice this season.
"Arsenal is a game where we gave a good account of ourselves in the home tie and we can get something here. We need to try to put that on the surface at the Emirates. It's [going to be] difficult. They've got good players, in fact he's got great players and he's a great manager of course," Pardew was quoted as saying by the official website of Crystal Palace.
"I think just recently my run against him has been poor, in terms of results, but there's been some very, very tight games. Very, very close."
"Our home game against them was very, very tight, so you can only put your best display on. It's difficult to win at the Emirates - I think they've only lost their three times this year - so, tough agenda."
Where to watch live:
The English Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace is scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. IST (4 p.m. BST, 11 a.m. EST) start. Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1 will broadcast the match live in India. The live streaming options will be available on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the U.K. can watch Arsenal vs Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. The live streaming option is available on Sky Go.
Audience in the U.S. can switch to NBC Sports and Westwood One Sports. The live streaming options will be available on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Arsenal Player will stream the game live worldwide.