With Manchester City and Chelsea playing on a Monday night, Arsenal have a prime opportunity to apply the pressure by beating Crystal Palace, leapfrogging the leaders and going two points clear.
And although some Gooners will be left with the familiar feelings of frustration that the club failed to bring in a striker to strengthen their cause in the window, Olivier Giroud is doing his level best to keep the title tilt going.
The Frenchman has hit 11 league goals thus far and has tapped into a rich vein since returning from a short lay-off by notching four goals in his last five Arsenal appearances.
Giroud’s exquisite flicked finish to level the scoring against Southampton showed the confidence coursing through him currently and considering no player has scored more opening Premier League goals (6) than him, at 5/2 he’s the obvious choice to make it seven.
In the opposition dugout Tony Pulis deserves huge credit for Crystal Palace’s osmosis from rock-bottom no-hopers into upwardly mobile table-climbers, but the 12/1 about a Palace win is as tall an order as the odds suggest.
Even with the exciting deadline day additions such as Tom Ince and Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, Arsenal’s formidable record at the Emirates – where they’ve won 14 of their last 20 Premier League games, losing just once – a draw at 5/1, would be the best the visitors can hope for.
What is likely to prohibit Palace’s chances of a shock is Arsenal’s rock solid defence as much as their attacking prowess.
Arsene Wenger’s side have now kept six clean sheets from their last seven league games at the Emirates and another win without concession is priced at 4/5.
Further evidence supporting this outcome occurring again can be found in the fact that no team has scored less goals (5), on the road in the league than Palace this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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