Fifteen months ago, Patrick Vieira took his new-look Crystal Palace side to Arsenal. They outplayed their hosts for large spells, showcased some stunning football and scored two beautiful goals. Despite conceding a last-gasp equaliser, the future looked bright: some even claimed Arsenal should pursue Vieira as an upgrade on the struggling Mikel Arteta.
How things change. Palace's latest trip across the Thames to the Emirates will come two days after Vieira's dismissal as manager, the trigger pulled 'with enormous regret' by Steve Parish after a dismal run of form that leaves the Eagles without a win in 2023.
Though they are not leaking goals at an alarming rate, their struggles to score or even create chances has been concerning and their dire second-half showing in a midweek defeat to rivals Brighton proved the final straw for the Eagles' board, pulling the curtain sadly down on an era that had once provided such hope.
Caretaker boss Paddy McCarthy could not hope for a tougher assignment in his first game in charge than a trip to the league leaders. Arteta has long since proved those doubters wrong and has shaped Arsenal into title favourites; with 11 games to go, they are basking in a five-point lead at the top of the table.
The Gunners were imperious in swatting aside Fulham last week, but there are questions for them to answer here. Can they maintain their momentum against stubborn opponents as the season enters squeaky bum time? Can they shake off the effects of their draining midweek Europa League exit to Sporting Lisbon? How damaging will the injuries to William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu prove?
Premier League titles are not won without answering such questions, though all things being equal, one would expect Arsenal to answer them this weekend.
Arsenal may be without Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba after both had to be taken off in their midweek defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
Eddie Nketiah and Mohammed Elneny also remain sidelined.
For Palace, Albert Sambi Lokonga is ineligible to face his parent club and could be replaced in midfield by Luka Milivojevic, as Will Hughes and James McArthur remain doubtful.
Vicente Guaita is likely to miss out, meaning 19 year old Joe Whitworth retains his place in goal.
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.
Crystal Palace (4-3-3):
Whitworth; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Milivojevic, Eze; Olise, Ayew, Zaha.
Arsenal - Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard wasn't Arsenal's first choice. Their high-profile January pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk ended in disappointment, with free-spending Chelsea ultimately outbidding them for the Ukrainian, meaning they had to settle for a lower-profile swoop for a Belgian forward from Brighton instead.
One wonders how disappointed they are now. Trossard has been quietly excellent since arriving, filling the lone striker role more than competently in the absence of Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus.
A player who is growing in influence with every passing week, Trossard is very comfortable with either foot and his movement is outstanding, a helpful asset in creating space for Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. He was central to the demolition job last week at Fulham, grabbing all three assists as Arsenal blew their opponents away in the first half.
With Jesus now back from injury, Trossard's starting spot up front may be under threat. There must surely be a case for Mikel Arteta to find a place for him somewhere anyway.
Crystal Palace - Marc Guehi
It's been a strange 24 hours for Marc Guehi. While he would have been delighted to be named in Gareth Southgate's first post-World Cup England squad on Thursday, he then found out on Friday morning that his club manager had been sacked. Guehi is known to have enjoyed a close relationship with Vieira, and the dismissal may cast doubt over the Palace captain's long-term future.
In the immediate term, however, his team will need him more than ever as they face the Premier League leaders. Guehi has been hugely impressive this season despite Palace's poor form, and is part of a defence that has been surprisingly effective: Palace have conceded just 34 goals this campaign, fewer than anyone else in the bottom half.
His pace, composure and supreme positioning are all qualities that make him likely to be plying his trade higher up the league before too long, but for now they are all likely to be severely tested by a free-scoring side that is closing in on the title.
If Palace are to take anything from this game, they will need their captain to be at his absolute best.
Where is the game being played?
The match is being played at Emirates Stadium, in North London
What time is kick-off?
Kick-off is at 2pm on Sunday 19th March.
How can I watch?
Although the game is on a Sunday, it has been moved due to Arsenal's fixture in the Europa League on Thursday, and will not be televised in the UK.