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May 26 2019 10.46pm

Key clashes: Arsenal v Palace

April 18 2019

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke

Hunter Young identifies the one-on-one player match-ups to watch in Crystal Palace's London derby with Arsenal.

Safety may be pretty much wrapped up for Palace with four games left in the season, but there is still plenty to play for. The results of these last few games could propel the Eagles towards the top half or see them slip to a finish just above the relegation zone.

Arsenal will be determined to secure all three points at home as they are locked in a tough fight for the Champions League with the teams in third to sixth being separated by just three points. Palace will be inspired after holding the Gunners to a draw when they visited Selhurst in October.

Christian Benteke v Bernd Leno

Arsenal’s Player of the Month Award for March Bernd Leno has enjoyed a solid first season in London. The German goalie has played a key role in the Gunners keeping a clean sheet in two of their last three Premier League matches and has kept top-flight legend Petr Cech on the bench for most of the season.

Christian Benteke quite simply needs a goal. The struggling striker has not scored all season and faces a pivotal summer in his career that would be much less intimidating with a goal or two on his record. Benteke will likely feature regardless of if he starts or not and will hope to score against an Arsenal team that has kept only eight clean sheets in the league this term.

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Max Meyer v Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira has proven to be one of the Premier League’s best summer signings as the scrappy Uruguayan has transformed the Arsenal midfield. The defensive midfield duo of Torreira and Granit Xhaka is imposing to say the least. Torreira is also a skilled passer, especially quick ones in tight spaces and is key to Arsenal working the ball up the field.

Max Meyer will look to end his up-and-down season on a high note with a strong performance against a team that was once considered a suitor for his services. The German’s skills could be essential in an attempt to control the Arsenal midfield as one of the best ways to avoid the punishing tackles of Xhaka and Torreira is quick passes around them.

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Scott Dann v Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Time is running out in Aubameyang’s quest for the golden boot as he sits one goal behind leaders Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah with four games to go. The prolific forward combines skill with physical ability like few others and is more often than not the most dangerous player on the pitch.

With the injuries that James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho have sustained, Scott Dann has returned to the starting 11 consistently for the first time since his serious knee injury. Dann was exposed against Manchester City at some points last week and will look to put in a strong performance against Aubameyang and the rest of Arsenal’s fearsome attackers as he looks to silence questions about his future ahead of an important summer for his career.

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Email Hunter with your feedback to hjyoung44@outlook.com

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