Oh boy, these are tense times at the Emirates Stadium (for a change), and Arsenal boss Unai Emery is feeling the heat following the Gunners' stop-start opening to the new Premier League season.
The north London side find themselves with only four wins from nine matches, and they have surrendered leads and points against considerably weaker sides (no offence Watford, but you are comfortably bottom of the league lads).
With the pressure mounting on Emery after Arsenal survived an embarrassing scare against Guimaraes on Thursday evening, the Spaniard will be desperate for a convincing victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
Standing in his way however, is a canny operator, and well-known party-pooper, Roy 'the boy' Hodgson. With the narrative truly against Arsenal, let's see if some quantitative data can come to Emery's aid, kindly provided by our friends Opta.
It's time to get our stat on.
Okay Unai, the first stat of the day goes in your favour. Arsenal love a goal or two, and the Gunners boast a pretty impressive record when it comes to home ties against Sunday's opponents.
The north Londoners have never failed to score in 19 home league games against Crystal Palace – they’ve faced the Eagles more often without ever failing to score at home than they have against any other side in their top-flight history.
A good start for Unai and his statistical examination.
Arsenal's attacking prowess is not only reserved for Palace, but it extends to the whole of London. The Gunners have scored at least twice in each of their last 12 home league London derbies (W9 D2 L1), though they are winless in their last two (2-3 vs Crystal Palace, 2-2 vs Spurs).
Maybe put away your bedsheets and crayons Arsenal fans, the 'EMERY OUT' banners might not be necessary after all.
The History Boys
On second thought, get the permanent markers out, stat!
Arsenal's historically solid form should probably be overshadowed by their disappointing recent record against Roy's boys. The Gunners have lost two of their last five league meetings with Crystal Palace (W2 D1), as many as they had in their first 33 such games against the Eagles (W22 D9 L2).
Palace beat Emery's men in their last meeting, and Hodgson's heroes are looking to secure back-to-back wins against Arsenal in all competitions for the first time.
I smell a party-pooping in the offing.
Panic on the Streets of London
Whilst Arsenal generally thrive in a London derby, Palace have less luck on that front, especially on the road.
Following a 2-1 win at West Ham in their last such game however, Crystal Palace are looking to win back-to-back away Premier League London derbies for the first time since November 1997. To put that into context, Hodgson was a young, up-and-coming 50 year-old manager at the time - a spring chicken.
And the tide may be starting to turn in Palace's favour. The Eagles have won two of their last three derby matches on the road (L1), as many as they had in their previous 15 (W2 D3 L10).
Ominous for Unai.
Who doesn't love an obscure statistic? Emery will be pinning this one up on the dressing-room wall to remind his players just how clinical and invincible they are...in October.
Arsenal haven’t lost a home league game in October since 2002 (1-2 vs Blackburn), winning 25 and drawing five since. It’s their joint-longest unbeaten home run in a single month in Premier League history (also 30 in March between 1998 and 2015).
No doubt Hodgson will be keen to put a Stoptober to this record.
Good news for Emery fans (if there are any left), but the Spaniard doesn't lose consecutive home matches.
The Arsenal boss hasn’t lost back to back home league matches against an opponent since 2013, when he lost against Atlético de Madrid in April and August as Sevilla manager in La Liga.
Brace yourselves for a Palace shellacking.
Luk-a Out Arsenal!
Some players tend to have a jolly good time against certain teams, and Luka Milivojevic loves a goal against Emery's men. A word of advice to the backline - don't concede a penalty on Sunday.
Crystal Palace’s Milivojevic has scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal than he has against any other side in the competition, netting four goals in five games against the Gunners. Good thing the Gunners have the calm head of, erm, David Luiz at the back.
FPL managers, I hope you swapped in the big man this weekend.
Sunday Funday For Aubameyang
Get this stat down your eyeholes.
Since February 2018, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 26 Premier League goals in games played on Sunday – no player has scored more on a day of the week in that time (Mo Salah, 26 goals on Saturday).
As long as the day ends in a 'Y', Aubameyang will probably score, so it's no surprise that he holds such a record on the sabbath.
Everyone knows the famous story about Roy and Goliath, right? The giant was slain by Hodgson, who then went on the warpath to destroy every top side that was cast before him.
Crystal Palace have won their last three away Premier League matches against teams starting the day in the top-five of the league, beating Arsenal in April, Man Utd in August and West Ham in October this year.
Beware Unai, for Hodgson is hungry for blood.
Source : 90min