Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Live On Sky Sports 1
The Eagles got off to a solid start last weekend with a 3-1 away victory over promoted Norwich. They rode their luck a little to emerge with the three points, as a Norwich goal that would have made the scores 2-2 was controversially ruled out, before star signing Yohan Cabaye scored in the last minute to make things comfortable.
Wilfried Zaha was also on target and with Yannick Bolasie returning to fitness, Alan Pardew has an exciting array of attacking midfielders and wide-men to choose from this season. On their day Palace now look like a side capable of beating any team in the Premier League and another top-half finish has to be the aim this season.
Pardew is still without injured goalkeeper Julian Speroni and forwards Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are also still unavailable. There has been speculation that Glenn Murray will leave the club but he started against Norwich and looks likely to get the nod again.
It seems like hyperbole to claim that Arsenal really need a win at such an early stage of the season, yet the Gunners' 2-0 home defeat to West Ham has put the pressure on a side that were tipped by many to challenge for the title.
One of the last places you want to go these days when under pressure is Selhurst Park and Arsene Wenger must get his team selection spot on against a Palace side that now possesses some real talent.
Wenger is without long-term casualties Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere, but his biggest dilemma is who to play up front. Does he go with the pace of Theo Walcott or keep faith in Olivier Giroud, who had a poor game against West Ham?
Arsenal are the odds on favourites at 1.774/5, with the draw at 4.03/1 and Crystal Palace at 5.49/2.
It's very difficult to favour Arsenal at such a low price. They could very well come out at their best and blow Palace away, but the Eagles have shocked plenty of decent sides over the past couple of seasons. At this stage of the campaign, with no form to back up your judgement it's perhaps better to stay away from this market, unlike my colleague Dan Thomas who has tipped up an Arsenal win and both teams to score in the Editors' Betting Battle this week...
My tactic is to instead look towards a low-stake bet on the Half Time/Full Time market, where a draw half-time/Arsenal full-time double result pays out at a much more appealing 5.14/1.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Both games last season finished 2-1 to Arsenal, so it's perhaps something of a surprise that over 2.5 goals is as big as 1.9310/11, with Unders at 2.0421/20.
While Palace look more of a threat going forward these days, their defence is not such a formidable unit as it was under the reign of Tony Pulis. They have only kept one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League games.
Arsenal have also been leaky of late, with only one clean sheet from their last six league outings. It's therefore worth considering over 3.5 goals at 3.211/5 and Both Teams to Score at 1.875/6.
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.9310/11
Back Draw/Arsenal in Half Time/Full Time market at 5.14/1