Can Arsenal finally end their recent hoodoo against Crystal Palace?
(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Emirates Stadium will play host for a London derby on Thursday evening as Arsenal entertain Crystal Palace. Mikel Arteta's Gunners will be hoping to extend their winning streak to five in a row as they aim to enter the top half of the table. 

For Arsenal, this fixture hasn't been the kindest in recent years as they've failed to take maximum points off Palace since December 2017. Since then, Arsenal have come up against Palace in four meetings, losing one and drawing four. 

Three years without a win against Palace - a hoodoo Arsenal will have to end tonight if they are to secure all three points against a well-structured Roy Hodgson side. 

  • Denied by VAR

In recent meetings against Palace, Arsenal have been made to pay by the work of VAR. In last season's 2-2 draw at the Emirates, Arsenal were denied a late winner from Sokratis after VAR ruled it out for a foul made by Calum Chambers prior to the goal.

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That same game saw VAR overturn Martin Atkinson's decision to not award a Palace penalty - after Atkinson initially booked Wilfried Zaha for simulation and going down 'easily' in the box. VAR replayed the incident and subsequently gave a penalty - Palace scored to ignite a comeback and later salvaged a 2-2 draw courtesy of a Jordan Ayew header.

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VAR was again the talking point in the meeting at Selhurst Park that season - as Arsenal were put down to 10-men after Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was sent off for his lunge on Max Meyer. Referee, Paul Tierney, had initially given a yellow card to Aubameyang in real time but VAR intervened, allowing Tierney to reverse his decision and send off Aubameyang. Arsenal held on to draw 1-1 in that game with ten-men. 

  • UEFA Champions League hopes crashed

Arsenal had never lost at home to Palace since the Emirates Stadium first opened back in 2006, but in the 2018/19 season, that all changed. 

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Arsenal's hopes for Champions League football the season after were dealt a huge blow as they capitulated against Hodgson's side, losing 3-2.

The 2018/19 season saw Arsenal gain one point from the two meetings against Palace - lost points that proved costly as they failed to qualify for the Champions League - finishing fifth, a point behind fourth and two points behind third. 

  • The present and future

However, for this year's meeting against Palace, Arsenal have started with a new lease of life, as Mikel Arteta's faith in the club's talented youngsters, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, is starting to pay off. The two youngsters have guided Arsenal to a four game win streak which included a comprehensive win over Chelsea

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For Arteta's side to end their recent hoodoo against Palace, club captain Aubameyang will need to step up and show his class against a side he's scored three in his last four appearances against.

Off the back of a goal against Newcastle United in the FA Cup, Aubameyang will be relishing the chance to score against the side who he was sent off against in their most recent meeting. A win on Thursday night for Arsenal will see them just six points behind the top four, if opposition results go their way. 

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